The Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular Smart Home devices on the market. It isn’t hard to see why, either, since Alexa is affordable, easy-to-use, and very effective at performing a wide variety of functions.
Many of the functions that Alexa performs are performed using the internet. To perform these functions, Alexa relies on a search engine. By reading through this guide, you will learn what that search engine is, and what you can do to change the search engine that Alexa uses.
What Search Engine Does Alexa Use?
For any search query that you throw at Alexa, Alexa will use Bing. Bing is Microsoft’s search engine, and it is one of the most popular search engines on the web. Many people prefer Google, but Bing gets the job done and, along with that, Bing often gathers a larger volume of links, compared to Google, which can make research significantly less time-consuming.
Every search query that you give to Alexa will be answered using Bing. So, if you want to check the weather, see what movies are showing tonight at the local movie theater, or figure out what important historical event happened on December 3rd 1927; you will be relying on Bing to do so.
Can You Use Another Search Engine With Alexa?
No other search engine, aside from Bing, is officially supported by the Alexa software ecosystem. Because of this, there is no official way to change the search engine that Alexa uses, so that you are able to rely on a different search engine.
But, with that being said, Alexa has a vast software ecosystem that consists of many different applications and programs. Each one of these applications and programs expands the functionality that the Alexa offers, making it significantly easier for you to perform certain functions that, without the necessary application or program, you would be unable to perform.
The Alexa software ecosystem goes beyond just applications and programs, though, because there are also “skills” and custom voice commands that you can download. Each one of these skills and custom voice commands expands the functionality of the Alexa, but they also allow you to use the Alexa for tasks that may not seem obvious or accessible.
Right now, most of the skills and voice commands that you can download will be accessible through Amazon’s platform. But, you can download custom skills and custom voice commands online. Doing so gives you access to tools that Amazon doesn’t officially support or endorse, but that developers and users have found valuable. By making use of these custom skills and custom voice commands, you can change the search engine that Alexa relies on, allowing you to transform the entire experience that Alexa offers.
How Can You Change Alexa’s Search Engine?
Right before we dive in, there’s one thing that must be mentioned. Changing Alexa’s search engine is a little tricky. Much of what makes it tricky is the fact that it takes a long time and involves some more technical stuff. Because of this, if you aren’t technically inclined, and aren’t interested in spending a lot of time with this stuff, then engaging with this process may not be the best choice.
Today, there is one absolutely fantastic skill – this skill comes with some very useful voice commands, as well – that you can download for Alexa. This skill is, as the title of this section suggests, designed in a way that forces Alexa to use a different search engine, while making use of this skill.
The search engine that this skill makes use of is Google. Google is the most popular search engine in the world, so it isn’t very surprising that this is the search engine that most people want to use.
To make use of Google, this skill relies on the Google Assistant API. Due to relying on the Google Assistant API, Alexa is able to access a large volume of Google search results, while also reading those results off to you, and letting you access the audio that is on the pages you are browsing through.
For you to download this skill, you will need to make an Amazon developer account. Making this account is quite easy, but you will need to input your credit card/debit card information. You won’t be charged while using your Amazon developer account, and this skill doesn’t cost any money.
Right after you create this account, you can begin the process of downloading this skill and implementing it. But, as mentioned, this is a rather long and somewhat challenging process. Much of this process involves clicking through various libraries, downloading certain files; among various other things.
The entire process is too long, so we haven’t outlined it in this guide, but you can find several very thorough guides online that walk you through the process, while also providing you with visual instructions.
What Happens When You Change Alexa’s Search Engine?
After you complete the entire process of installing the necessary skill and implementing the proper voice commands, you have complete access to Google Assistant and, in turn Google’s search results.
So, the simplest thing that happens is you being able to search for anything you want with Google, rather than relying on Bing. For some people, this is very desirable, as they can more easily find what they want on Google, rather than Bing. But, for others, this feature is just one of many that happen to be very desirable.
You see, Google Assistant is more than just a slightly-enhanced web browser. Google Assistant is a very elaborate piece of software that gives you access to almost every service that Google offers. By installing the Google Assistant API onto your Alexa, you are able to access all of those services, and you are able to access them in a manner that is easy and effective.
To make use of this functionality, all you must do is ask. By asking Google about what you have planned for today, how busy it is on a particular street in your city, or when the next flight to Seattle is – among a limitless variety of other questions – the Google Assistant API will move across all of the different services that Google offers until it finds an answer to your question.
For personal questions – such as those relating to your schedule – this is done by looking at your Google Calendar. For questions that are less personal and related to traffic, for example, this is done by checking Google Maps and the live traffic data that Google has access to.
Regardless of the question that you are asking, Google will have an answer, and that answer will be given to you very quickly.
Can You Use Google Maps With Alexa?
Google Maps is easily the best GPS navigation platform available. Because of this, it’s no surprise that so many people prefer to use Google Maps with Alexa, rather than any other piece of GPS navigation software.
Fortunately, using Google Maps with Alexa is a lot easier – and a lot faster – than trying to set up the Google Assistant API on Alexa. The process takes very little time, and requires very little effort.
To set up Alexa with Google Maps, you need to have the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone. It does not matter if you have an Android or iPhone; you need to have the Amazon Alexa app.
If you have an Android phone, then there’s a good chance that, under the Amazon Alexa app, Google Maps is considered the “Default Navigation Service”. But, that being said, if you have other navigation software on there, then it may not be.
To figure out if this is the case, you need to go to the Amazon Alexa app, and then you need to go to “Settings”, and then “Traffic”. Right after that, you will see “Default Navigation App”. Tap on that little box and then click on “Google Maps”. But, as mentioned, on an Android device, “Google Maps” may already be selected.
The process is almost identical if you own an iPhone. But, unlike with an Android phone, iPhone automatically use Apple’s GPS navigation service. This is, in turn, the service that your Alexa will rely on.
For you to change the “Default Navigation App”, you will have to open up the Amazon Alexa app and go through the same settings that you would foro the Android application. Nothing about this process is different.
It’s a virtual guarantee that the “Default Navigation App” will be “Apple Maps”, rather than “Google Maps”. But, right after you change it to “Google Maps”, Alexa will begin relying on the application, as well as the information it provides, to answer any questions you have regarding travel and traffic; among other facets of navigation.
In the end, the Amazon Alexa is one of the best Smart Home devices on the market. A large part of what makes it great is the versatility that it offers. By making use of the information in this guide, you will be able to more easily create the exact experience you would like your Alexa device to provide!