Amazon’s Alexa app on iOS, Android, and Fire OS is being redesigned to focus on Alexa’s core functionality rather than its third-party “skills” or weather forecasts, TechCrunch reports.
The home screen is where the biggest changes appear to have been made. For starters, the button to summon Alexa is now shown prominently at the top of the home screen, rather than the bottom. Then, instead of showing you a weather forecast and a list of recommended third-party skills, the app will now show a personalized list of Alexa actions — ranging from setting alarms, to accessing recently played music, or making a shopping list — which will vary depending on how you use the app.
The new app design places the button to summon Alexa front and center. Image: Amazon
Meanwhile, the third-party Alexa skills that previously took pride of place at the top of the home screen have been shifted into the app’s “More” tab where they can now be found under “Skills & Games.” TechCrunch notes that usage of these skills appears to be low, and that they’ve yet to see a breakout hit. Within the “More” section, these skills are joined by other advanced features like Reminders and Routines.
The new design comes after Amazon recently announced a couple of new interesting features for Alexa on mobile. Earlier this month it announced that you’ll be able to summon its voice assistant using just your voice (without pressing the blue button) so long as you have the Alexa app open, and last week it launched a preview of a new feature that lets Alexa launch iOS and Android apps. Amazon clearly wants Alexa to become a platform-agnostic alternative to Google Assistant and Siri, and its mobile app is a key part of making that happen.
Amazon says the new app is rolling out gradually over the coming month, and should be available for all iOS, Android, and Fire OS users by the end of August.