The free Amazon Alexa app turns your smartphone or mobile device into a controller for any device controlled by the Alexa system. Use the app to manage your preferences, create shopping lists and more, even when you're not around your Alexa device. Perhaps the most important feature is the ability add Skills -- integration with third-party apps -- to Alexa. If you don't have Amazon Prime, for instance, you can set Alexa to stream music from your Spotify account.
Bringing Alexa to life
The Amazon Alexa app adds a huge range of features to the Alexa voice-control system, allowing you to customize your experience. There are some gaps in the Skills available, and some differences between what's available in the US and UK releases, but more Skills and features are regularly added. Setup can be a little time-consuming -- although Alexa devices like the Echo are very much intended for people who like setting up gadgets -- but once it's done managing the device via a combination of the app and voice controls is simple.
A vital tool for Alexa users
The Amazon Alexa app is an absolute necessity for owners of an Alexa device such as Amazon Echo; without it, Alexa is only half complete. If you don't own such a device, of course, you don't need it at all.