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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Amazon’s Alexa app will get extra Sonos-y with new multiroom audio controls

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Amazon is making its multiroom audio platform extra handy to manage along with your cellphone. A latest replace to the Alexa cell app launched a brand new functionality that lets customers handle and transfer their music between Echo units (or teams of a number of audio system) throughout the app itself. (Beforehand, you wanted to make use of voice instructions to carry out a few of these actions.)

Now, it’s all doable by a menu that allows you to transfer music to any group or Alexa gadget with a few faucets — no speaking essential. In our temporary time attempting it to this point, it’s fairly intuitive, and anybody that’s managed music through AirPlay or Spotify Join shouldn’t have a lot bother figuring this out. Amazon’s present lineup of Echo audio system contains the usual Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Studio, and elective Echo Sub subwoofer. You’ll be able to play audio throughout Echo Present and Fireplace TV units by the Alexa app as properly.

You’ll be able to shortly transfer music between units and teams with the Alexa app.
Picture: Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

Amazon has additionally developed a brand new overview display screen for the Alexa app that it calls the Energetic Media Listing. This may be accessed each time audio is taking part in in your system and exhibits what’s taking part in the place and allows you to management a number of merchandise from a single record. The interface will look extraordinarily acquainted to Sonos clients — a lot in order that the latter firm would possibly take discover.

Screenshots comparing the Active Media List in Amazon’s Alexa app and the System screen of the Sonos app.

The brand new Energetic Media Listing (left) provides an outline and quick entry to all the things taking part in throughout your system. It appears to be like much like Sonos’ System tab (proper).
Picture: Jennifer Pattison Tuohy and Chris Welch / The Verge

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Sonos is locked in a patents battle with Google; a trial between the 2 kicks off Might eighth in San Francisco. However whereas Sonos has beforehand alleged that Amazon can be violating its mental property, it hasn’t fired any authorized salvos but. Actually, the 2 corporations appear to be on good phrases currently, having simply expanded Alexa voice support on Sonos devices to many more countries. And you’ll run Sonos Voice Management and Alexa facet by facet on the identical speaker. However there are limits to this collaboration: you may’t embrace Sonos and Echo audio system in the identical group for multiroom audio, for instance.

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence not too long ago claimed that his firm’s Huge Tech opponents (Amazon included) aren’t “doing anything interesting” in audio of late. Amazon has been pretty quiet by way of new Echo audio system, sure, however this Alexa app replace is a pleasant enchancment that brings extra refinement and polish to the corporate’s multiroom providing.

The Alexa app is a free obtain for each Android and iOS.

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