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App Review: Reverb for Amazon Alexa

As regular readers will know I love Amazon Alexa, pretty sure if I were a robot I would try to marry her. The one piece I have always been missing however is Alexa on the go. I want more than anything good smartphone integration with Amazon’s Assistant. I know the Amazon recently gave us Alexa in the native Android Alexa app but that is not really what I want. I am looking for something that integrates as nicely as Google Assistant, I do not want to have to launch and app then push a button to start talking to her, I want to be able to talk to here whenever I want without the need to launch an app. This lead me to the Android app Reverb which does exactly this, how well it does this however is what we are going to talk about today.

screenshot_20180305-2109251024255837.jpgReverb is a simple application which does exactly what it says it will…Gives you Amazon Alexa integration on any Android device. For my benefit and to meet my needs you are able to enable wake word detection and set Reverb to run in the background constantly. This is the feature that I wanted most but unfortunately has a couple of issues for me. First of all this requires a static notification in the Android notifications panel and second battery life is very poor. Neither of these are really “app” issues but rather Android issues but in the end the user experience (at least in my case) is diminished. screenshot_20180305-2109071436909255.jpg

This quickly lead me to disable Reverb from always running which left me with just the app to launch Alexa. The app is pretty simple and intuitive. It gives you a big white microphone button which when pressed starts the voice service and allows you to communicate with Alexa. The screen is simple and the microphone button is large enough to make Reverb easy to use in the car which is a big plus for me.

Until Amazon gets their act in gear and gives us more usability of Alexa from inside of Android (although I fear this is more a matter for what Google will allow them to do) we are stuck with third-party apps to accomplish this. The only other option is to go with a Moto Z with the Alexa Smart Speaker Add-On, but having never really been a Motorola fan not sure I would consider going this route. For me at this time Reverb will have to be my way of getting Alexa on the go, I may explore installing an Echo Dot in my vehicle but not sure I really like that option. I may look into Muse in the future.

Anyone out there using Reverb? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to join our mailing lest to stay up-to-date with everything going on in the IoT world.

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Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

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