Logitech ZeroTouch App Includes Alexa, Needs Hardware

Advertisement
Advertisement

Amazon's Alexa digital AI assistant is normally used by Amazon as a selling point for partner hardware and software, but there are workarounds that will give just about any Android device owner a taste of Alexa, and the companion app to Logitech's new ZeroTouch car mounts is one of them. While you will need the mount, and need to have your phone paired to it via Bluetooth in order to use the app, once the app is fired up, you can use its Alexa integration to get most of the functionality of an Amazon Echo. It's an imperfect solution, and costs almost as much as simply getting an Amazon Echo, but it's there for those who want it, and handy for those who already wanted to buy Logitech's ZeroTouch solution.

For those who don't know, Logitech ZeroTouch is an in-car solution that pairs up to your phone via BlueTooth and allows you to activate it with a high-five gesture. From there, you can use voice commands to control your phone and do things like play music, send text messages, or make calls. To keep things truly hands-free, the companion app reads your notifications out loud to you, and can even read the full text of emails and text messages out loud, once directed to do so. A vent mount costs $59.99, while a dashboard mount costs $79.99. As stated above, however, if you're only after Alexa and not interested in the ZeroTouch's hands-free in-car features, you may be better off grabbing an Amazon Echo for $99.99 or Echo Dot for $49.99.

There are a couple of other ways that owners of just about any Android device can get some Alexa support. The first is Ubi, formerly known as Lexa. The app works quite simply, with a large gray button being your portal to Alexa's world. It does not work on Nougat or support music control or timers just yet, but Play Store reviews seem to indicate that the free app works just fine otherwise. An app called Alexa Listens boasts rudimentary Alexa functionality, but Alexa Skills have to be added manually through a control panel. Finally, the Roger voice chat app boasts Alexa integration, though the feature is disabled at the moment for whatever reason, and may or may not come back in the future.

Advertisement