The Amazon Alexa app is now available in India, on both Android and iOS. That's just in time, given you need the app to setup the Echo line of smart speakers that will be shipping out to customers later this week.
Beyond that, the Alexa app is useful for adding new skills, changing settings quickly, monitoring your previous requests, seeing what's playing, and creating new routines. The app is also the go-to place for going through your to-do list when you're out shopping, for those who like the convenience of creating lists by talking to a voice assistant.
Ahead of the Echo launch, Amazon has partnered with local companies and brands to create India-specific skills. This includes the likes of NDTV, Ola, Saavn, Sportskeeda, Syska, and Times of India among others. Even this humble website has its own skill, if you wish to get your dosage of tech news by having it read aloud to you.
In terms of music, your options include Amazon Music, Saavn, and TuneIn. We couldn't get the former to work, with all our requests either pushed to Saavn or Alexa saying that it couldn't find the requested song in our library. TuneIn replied back with a funny error too, so hopefully these bugs will be ironed out before people get their hands on their new Echo speaker.
If you already own an Echo device and wish to access local skills, including the ability to ask for local weather and traffic, your best bet involves setting it up from scratch. During setup, you can then choose from English (India) out of the four language options, though you'll need to bear with the accent. You'll also need to switch your residence address to India, to ensure it works properly.
The Alexa app also has an option to setup the Amazon Tap, which isn't available in India yet. That's good news for those who own a Tap and would like it to work smoothly here.