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Home / Technology / Amazon's Alexa Cast makes it easier to play music from your phone on Echo speakers

Amazon's Alexa Cast makes it easier to play music from your phone on Echo speakers



Amazon introduces a new feature called Alexa Cast, which allows users to control what is played on their Alexa-enabled devices from the phone. At launch, its capabilities are very limited: it only works with the Amazon Music app to control music playback. But it's easy to imagine that this will be a full competitor for the very similar called Google Cast, so you can finally control music, movies, podcasts and more from all apps that specifically support Amazon's network of devices. [19659002] Alexa Cast works with any Alexa enabled device, so it supports Echo speakers, third-party Alexa products and some of Amazon's Fire devices. After an update today, the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android will include an Alexa Cast icon on the Now Playing screen. You can tap it to get a list of all your Alexa enabled devices and choose which one begins to play music. The app stays synchronized with what is played on the speakers so you can continue to control music remotely or switch to playback on the phone if you leave home.

The feature is not revolutionary alone, but it is practical and makes a lot of sense for Amazons ever-increasing Alexa ecosystem. Right now you usually need to control music playback on an Alexa device with voice, or through a traditional Bluetooth setup that requires pairing. Alexa Cast should make it much easier for people to quickly choose a speaker and start streaming music.


Image: Amazon

Amazon has not announced any details about where Alexa Cast will go next time. So there is no word about third party apps like Spotify, could add this feature. "We continue to improve this feature and extend support over time," a spokesman The Verge told in an email.

But without the support of third parties, the appearance of Alexa Cast looks like a remarkable resemblance to Google Cast, Google's function to control audio and video playback on a smart TV or speaker from the phone. Amazon and Google remain in a sweep of retail and YouTube (not to mention, they are direct competitors in the smart speakers market) and this feels like another slight escalation of it, with Amazon going out of its way to build its own streaming feature, instead of relying on those built in iOS and Android.


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