I can’t take credit for this, it was originally spotted on How-To Geek, but it’s awesome so I have to write about it.
I love my Echo. It is the main controller of almost every device in my smart home (except my stupid MyQ garage doors that work with NOTHING!), and it is the most used device in my home. The main problem that I have is that until I get a Dot (currently on back order) on my second floor, I either have to scream and hope Alexa hears me or turn on my bedroom TV, find the Fire TV remote and issue commands that way. It’s not exactly the most convenient method and usually quicker to just walk downstairs or use other apps in my phone. What’s more, I can’t talk to Alexa when I’m away from home or out by the pool.
Enter Roger. Roger is a free app for both Android and iOS that was originally designed to be a tap-to-talk/voice messaging app, but has blossomed into so much more. Roger is now a voice platform, boasting integrations with Alexa, voicemail, Dropbox, Slack, Twitter, Facebook, messenger, Soundcloud and IFTTT.
Once you create a free Roger account, you will have to link it with Alexa. According to Roger, you don’t even need to own an Echo or Dot to use this connection, you just need to have an Amazon account to link with Roger. After linking the app to your account, you can click the Alexa icon, tap the mic and say a command. You have to tap the mic a second time to make Roger stop listening. Then you will see a spinning icon as the command is issued to Alexa and after a slight delay your phone will vibrate confirming the command has been issued. Alexa will then answer you as if you had just spoken to your Echo.
Obviously this isn’t as convenient as speaking directly to an Echo, and it’s not as quick as I’d like it to be. I’ve seen a few dropped commands as well. While everyone is touting this as being able to control your Echo with your phone, it’s actually interacting with Alexa independently from your Echo. It does, however, allow you to control your connected devices via your Echo similar to Alexa on Fire TV.
Until Amazon releases an official way to speak to Alexa on your phone, this is the best we have, and it’s pretty damn good. Plus you may actually use a lot of Roger’s other features as a bonus.