Alexa, the personificaiton of Amazon’s Echo Bluetooth speaker, isn’t exactly the most popular among the main virtual assistants. The product itself hasn’t exactly been the most wanted thing in the market, with a niche purpose that mostly ties in with Amazon’s core business of selling you stuff. But like Siri or Google Now, much of Alexa’s functionality depends on the services that integrate with the platform. Luckily for owners of the Echo, Amazon has expanded its functionality to include Yelp recommendations for interesting local establishments.
Although somewhat still controversial, user reviews and ratings have become the second opinion when hunting for new things to try. And when it comes to that kind of service, Yelp is the name of the game. With the new Amazon Echo integration, owners will be able to simply ask Alexa where the nearest Chinese or Italian food joint is and it will answer back.
Yelp goes beyond just restaurant. Alexa also has access to business information. For example, you can ask when a certain nearby store opens or closes. Provided, of course, their information is up on Yelp.
The new feature is only available if you’ve already added your address to the Alexa app on your mobile device, otherwise, it won’t really be able to know where “nearby” is. That same app also has a lot more uses than just setting up Alexa for Yelp. It can also let you view more detailed information, such as ratings, phone numbers, and Yelp listings, the things that aren’t really convenient, if not impossible, to convey by voice alone.