Amazon has launched a new feature called Alexa Cast which allows users to control the music playing on their Alexa enabled devices from their smartphone. The feature currently only works with the Amazon Prime Music app to control music playback. However, the company might expand the features capabilities in upcoming months to allow more and more apps to cast playback similar to Google’s Cast service which was introduced five years ago with the Chromecast streaming devices.
The Alexa Cast feature works with all Alexa-enabled devices including the Amazon Echo speakers, third-party Alexa integrated products and Amazon’s Fire devices. To get the Alexa Cast feature on your device, you will have to update the Amazon PrimeMusic app from Google’s Play Store or the Apple App Store to the latest version.
This will, in turn, add an icon for Alexa Cast on the Now Playing screen. When pressed, a list of all the synced Alexa-enabled devices will open, through which the user can select the device to play music on. Additionally, the app will stay synced to the speaker via the internet even when the user is out of the speaker’s range.
Prime Music is an ad-free music streaming service, offered to consumers as an add-on benefit on the purchase of the Amazon Prime Membership. It includes various songs from international and Indian music labels in over 10 languages. To purchase the Amazon Prime membership Indian users will have to pay Rs 999 per year or Rs 129 per month.
Earlier to control music playback on Alexa-enabled devices users had to make use of their voice or via a Bluetooth connection. Now, with the help of Alexa Cast, it would be much easier for users to control it. The company hasn’t yet revealed any details on if it plans to bring the Alexa Cast feature to third-party apps like Gaana and Saavn or not.