How to connect and use Alice on your Android phone.
Yandex is known for its services, which include streaming services, taxis, and a host of other platforms. The company also has its own voice assistant. Its features can be used by anyone who owns a mobile device. Therefore, it is important to understand how to connect Alice to your Android phone. At the same time, we suggest that you learn more about the voice assistant, as well as the peculiarities of its configuration.
What is Alice from Yandex?
Alice is a voice assistant developed by Yandex. The first release of the wizard took place in the fall of 2017, and as of 2019, more than 45 million people are already using Alice, which shows the incredible popularity of the product.
As the definition suggests, Alice is designed to help the mobile phone owner in everyday tasks. For example, the assistant can set an alarm clock, dial a number, or launch an application of interest. In addition, Alice tells the news, reads the weather forecast, and simply communicates with the owner of the device.
Thanks to the fact that the assistant is developed by a Russian computer team, it perfectly recognizes Russian speech and is the best voice assistant for our market. But unlike Google Assistant, Alice is not installed by default on your mobile device. You have to connect the assistant yourself. Here’s how to do it.
Installation of the application
The virtual assistant works on various devices. First of all, Yandex.Station and Yandex.Modul, which are set to boast a built-in Alice. As for the mobile phone, to access the voice assistant you have to install the corresponding app. However, there is no special Alice software, and the wizard is sewn into existing Yandex utilities:
Therefore, to enable the virtual assistant, it is necessary to install one of the offered applications. You have several installation methods to choose from, and you can use the one you like the most.
Via Google Play
The vast majority of Android mobile phones have a Google Play Market application store. Therefore, we suggest that you use it first to continue configuring the virtual assistant. And to install it you will need:
- Sign in, if you haven’t done so before.
- Through the search bar, find the application of interest that Alice has by default.
- Once on the software page, click on “Install”.
Please note that Play Market is not the only app store available on Android devices. If you wish, you can download the software through the App Gallery or any other software store.
Via APK file
The second method of software installation is considered manual. In this case, you will be prompted to install the corresponding application using an APK file, following the instructions below:
- Download the APK file of the Alice application that you want to install on your mobile phone. To do this, you can use the official Yandex website or third-party resources where various APKs of games and programs are available.
- Open the downloaded APK.
- Allow installation from unknown sources.
- Click the “Install” button.
The only problem you may encounter during the installation process is the inability to install the app via APK due to operating system restrictions. However, upon opening the APK file, you will immediately be prompted for permission to install apps from unknown sources. You can also confirm the operation through the mobile phone settings.
In addition to direct installation, there may be difficulties with subsequent updates to the app. Yandex software updates are released every two weeks and add new features. To install them, you will have to download a new version of the APK file and install it again. Therefore, the recommended installation option is to use the app store.
Activation and launch
The process of launching and subsequent activation of Alice will depend on the application that you have installed to access the voice assistant. As a reminder, the virtual assistant is available in three Yandex applications.
It is the main application of Yandex, which acts as a web browser and allows access to the company’s services. If you have installed it, you will need it to activate the wizard:
- Start the app.
- Press the “Start” button.
- Issue all necessary approvals.
- Make Yandex the default browser if you want.
- Press the «Login» button.
- Access your Yandex account or create a new one.
- Press the purple circular button located in the lower corner of the screen.
This completes the wizard setup process.
However, when you close the Yandex app for the first time, it will ask you to add an Alice widget to your desktop. Do this if you don’t want to run Yandex to interact with the wizard in the future.
This program is a pure browser devoid of Yandex brand services. However, its functionality will be enough to activate the voice assistant with the following instructions:
- Click the “Next” button and then the “Get Started” button.
- If the screen prompts you to use Alice, click “Try”.
- Issue the requested permits.
- Click the “Login to Yandex” button and identify yourself.
- To call Alice, press the purple microphone button located to the right of the search bar on the home screen of the web browser.
Unlike the main Yandex application, the browser does not allow bringing the voice assistant button to the desktop. Therefore, in order to continue interacting with the wizard, you will have to start the Yandex browser and press the corresponding button.
Finally, Alice is available in another app, Yandex.Loncher. This is an alternative desktop that you can use to change the appearance of your mobile phone’s home screen. Personalization is done as follows:
- Press the “Start” button.
- Select the wallpaper.
- When prompted to set Yandex Launcher as the default desktop, click the “Do” button.
Now, when Yandex Launcher is selected as the launcher, you will see that the appearance of the desktop changes. Specifically, the Yandex search bar will appear on the home screen with a purple voice assistant shortcut button. In addition, it will be present in the list of apps, which opens with a swipe from the bottom of the screen to the top.
In general, once activated, you are ready to use the voice control function. However, you can make additional changes to Alice’s settings to optimize the voice assistant.
Set as default attendee
First of all, it is recommended to make Alice the default virtual assistant, since Google Assistant initially acts as such. Replacement is carried out according to the instructions:
- Open the phone settings.
- Go to “Apps & notifications” and then “Default apps”.
- Open the “Wizard” tab.
- Select the app that is installed to interact with Alice.
Now, when you need to find information of interest on the Internet or, for example, dial someone’s number from the phone book, the request will be handled by Alice.
Install a widget on the desktop
Interaction with the assistant is performed differently depending on the application used to interact with it. However, you can unify this process by placing an Alice widget on your desktop:
- Keep your finger on a free area of the home screen.
- Go to the “Widgets” section.
- Select widget purple round button.
- Put it in the most suitable place.
Now you will only have to touch its icon on the desktop to call the wizard. Also some Yandex applications allow you to do this when you set up the wizard for the first time.
Select a word to call Alice
By default, the wizard is called by pressing the corresponding button in purple. However, you can simplify this process by specifying a special word:
- Start the Yandex application.
- Tap on the profile icon.
- Open the settings.
- Go to “Voice Activation”.
- Turn on the “Use voice activation” slider.
- Open the “Phrase to activate” tab.
- Select the word you like.
The keyword is «Yandex» or «Alice». Saying the appropriate phrase will open the voice assistant window and you can assign a task to it.
When interacting with the voice assistant, you may encounter various difficulties. Most users complain that Alice cannot be called by voice. To solve the error, you have to select it as the main assistant through the settings of your mobile phone. There is also a “Voice activation” option in the Yandex app settings, without activating it, Alice will only be summoned by pressing a button.