GeekWire: Amazon releases Super Bowl ad, Alexa loses voice

Image courtesy of Amazon

Amazon has revealed a Send SMS feature which allows users to ask Alexa to send an SMS using an Alexa-enabled device. But you'll need to read their number like a cave man: "Alexa, send a text message to". You'll be able to catch the ad air live during the Super Bowl on February 4, 2018, but other than that, we don't know when Alexa's new voice will go live. You can send them to any device that receives SMS, including iPhones.

The skill, which is live in the USA now with other countries expected to follow, can send messages using either the Alexa Messaging System for fellow Alexa users or via SMS to everyone else. Refusing to dismiss it as fake news, the CEO asks how Alexa, being not a real person at all, could possibly have an issue with her vocal cords.

Enabling Alexa SMS messaging is really easy.

The feature will only work if you have the Alexa app installed on an Android phone, and have linked your phone to your Alexa device.

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This feature now sends SMS messages only to Android phones, because Apple is not offering its messaging APIs to third-parties.

Either way, the timing couldn't be better for Amazon given that Apple is releasing its rival smart speaker, the $349 HomePod, . Amazon claims it can not add the SMS feature to Apple devices since the latter doesn't offer messaging API to third-parties.

After a teaser ad where Amazon's Alexa loses her voice, with an appearance by founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos, the story continues by showing Alexa celebrity replacements for the e-commerce giant's Super Bowl ad.

Amazon has introduced a new feature: SMS messaging. You could use your Echo speaker to make phone calls to phone numbers in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

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