HTC U11 will soon let you choose between Alexa and Google Assistant

Amazon’s Alexa intelligent assistant will soon arrive on the HTC U11, giving owners an alternative to Google Assistant.

HTC confirmed to us when the U11 launched that the Alexa update would be coming within the first few months of the phone’s shelf life and now, it’s coming in three days according to a tweet from HTC’s official account.

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In many ways, Alexa and Google Assistant are similar. Both can tell you the weather and share the one-off fun fact. But Amazon’s assistant has skills where Google doesn’t yet, as well as some special functionality for those that are bought into the Echo ecosystem, or should I call it the echosystem? 

Is there an echo in here?

Alexa on the HTC U11 will be able to take advantage the Drop In feature, letting you have a two-way chat with anyone near the Amazon Echo device that you have in your home.

Aside from the inherent cross-functionality between the Alexa app and Echo devices, this personal assistant won’t do much more for the average user than Google’s Assistant. However, there’s a wealth of opportunity for those who want to take advantage of Alexa’s many skills.

Skills for Alexa and the greater Amazon Echo family of devices are a growing set of a contextual commands and queries that offer voice compatibility with many popular apps. Heck, there’s a whole Skill Store for you to browse and add to Alexa’s repertoire.

The big question that remains is whether HTC and Amazon have worked together on any unique functionality for the U11. It appears that I can take advantage of every feature from the Google Pixel, so we’ll have to wait and see how Alexa has been made into a more appealing option than Google’s Assistant for the squeeze-friendly phone.

Regardless, if you’re invested in Amazon’s world of devices or if you just prefer something different on your HTC U11, you’ll soon be able to switch things up.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.