Amazon plays catch-up with Google, adds multiple voice support to the Echo

Amazon Echo

Other than Google Assistant, Home’s main advantage over Amazon’s Echo is the voice-activated assistant’s ability to analyze individual voices order to provide user-specific information like calendar appointments and preferences.

This week Amazon pushed out an update to Alexa that adds voice profiles to Alexa and the Echo. Now Alexa is able to make voice calls for individual Echo users, as well as send messages.

To access the feature, navigate to the Alexa app and swipe up on the side menu. Swiping down to settings and then scrolling down to ‘Your Voice’ opens the setup process for Alexa’s new voice profiles.

It’s also possible to access Your Voice settings via the desktop Alexa/Echo app. For Canadians using the Amazon Echo — which still isn’t officially available in Canada — this is likely the easiest option, since getting the Alexa app for Android requires sideloading an APK and with iOS, switching to the U.S. App Store is necessary. It is however worth noting that the Your Voice option hasn’t shown up for my account in the desktop Alexa app yet.

Adding multiple voice profiles brings Amazon’s suite of Echo devices to feature parity with the Echo in most respects, though Google Assistant is still an overall better and more useful voice-activated assistant when compared to Alexa.

While Amazon’s Echo products are not available in Canada, rumours have circulated for months indicating that the device will launch here before the holiday 2017 shopping season hit full tilt.

Amazon recently unveiled a suite of new Echo devices, including a second generation Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Buttons.