It's no secret that the Huawei Mate 9 phablet will be the first Android device to come with Alexa, the popular digital assistant from Amazon. This was announced back at the 2017 Consumer and Electronic Show (CES) held last January. What's new is that Alexa has now officially been rolled out to the Mate 9 in the United States.
Huawei Mate 9 owners need to first download the Alexa app to receive the over-the-air or OTA updates. PCMag noted this as a drawback since Amazon devices such as the Echo smart speaker does not require such step. The AI in the Echo can be operated just by saying the wake word which is "Alexa".
There are no other limitations as to the use of Alexa on the Huawei phablet. Once the Mate 9 has the AI integrated, the user can accomplish a variety of tasks thanks to Alexa. These include popular uses of digital assistants such as locating a restaurant, asking for directions, playing music, transacting with online businesses, inquiring about the weather, and asking trivia questions.
Huawei's press release regarding the Alexa announcement also enumerated some of the other tasks that are now possible with the Mate 9. The phablet, once updated, can be used for home automation or to control one's smart home. It can also be used to play games such as Jeopardy and Twenty Questions while also allowing the user access to FitBit, 7-Minute Workout, and other fitness or health-related apps. Despite Alexa's impressive portfolio to the tune of 10,000 skills, the Huawei Mate 9 will not be able to use of all of them right now. Huawei did promise that the missing tasks, such as Timer/Alarms, will eventually be available within the year.
The Huawei Mate 9 has been a popular device outside the U.S. since it was released in November last year. The flagship phablet reached American shores only on Jan. 6. Right before its official U.S. release, it was already promised that the Mate 9 will come with the Alexa voice assistant. However, when the Mate 9 finally arrived, there was no Alexa in sight. With Alexa finally rolling out, the Mate 9 now boasts of having both Google Assistant and Alexa. This, as Android Police pointed out, will be a great opportunity to have a side-by-side comparison of the two voice assistants.