How to get Alexa in your car

There's no doubt that Amazon's Alexa is changing people's home lives. From ordering the groceries to switching on lights or even checking the weather, a quick request now results in endless amounts of information. This incredible personal assistant can be extremely helpful, but most of the time she's limited to the vicinity of an electrical socket and a Wi-Fi router. That is, until now.

Alexa is making an appearance in many places thanks to smartphones and smart devices, and having a voice-activated assistant in our cars comes with a lot of obvious advantages. But the big question is: how can you get Alexa into your car, then set up to provide info as you drive along without having to touch anything?

Why using your phone isn't a good idea

If you're already an Alexa superfan, then you'll probably have the Alexa app installed on your phone. This is all well and good for adding bits to the shopping list when you're out and about, but things can get complicated when you're in the car.

First, you'll need to give the Alexa app all the permissions required to act as your personal assistant (tough to do on an Android as Google Assistant comes as standard, and even tougher for Siri-enabled iPhones). Once that's done, you may even still need to press the microphone button on your phone screen - a massive no if you're driving. Then there's the distraction of a screen or the temptation to tap around if Alexa refuses to answer, leaving you open to penalty points and a fine if you get caught.

Stereos

One of the safest and easiest ways to get Alexa in your car is through an Alexa-integrated stereo, such as the JVC KD-X372BT. This smart car stereo system not only allows you to use Alexa for directions, songs and traffic updates, but enables you to enjoy your music and connect your phone through your car speakers too!

In-car smart chargers

An innovative and easy way of getting Alexa into your car is to use an in-car charger. We stock the Kitsound Alexa Smart Charger, which plugs straight into your 12V outlet and pairs with your car's Bluetooth, meaning you can use Alexa without having to touch anything as you drive. The other big benefit of this bit of kit is that you can also charge your phone at the same time.

Sat navs

Yes, there are even sat navs that now have Alexa built in as standard. The Garmin DriveSmart 65 is not only an excellent sat nav with live traffic updates, full UK maps and Wi-Fi connectivity, but it also includes a fully voice-activated Alexa. This means you can ask for an update on the journey time, get Alexa to call someone or even just ask whether the chicken or the egg came first (try it).

Dash cams

Even more impressive than Alexa-enabled sat navs, certain dash cams can be used to organise your life or get instant information. If you have a Nextbase 422GW, 522GW or 622GW then you can happily chat away as you drive or ask Alexa to skip to the next track without taking a finger off the steering wheel.

You can also use Alexa commands to start/stop dash cam recordings, take photos and send data from your dash cam to your phone with the power of your voice alone.

Amazon Echo Auto

Amazon’s popular Echo technology comes to cars courtesy of the Amazon Echo Auto. Small and easy-to-use, the Amazon Echo Auto connects to the Alexa app on your smartphone and plays through your car’s speakers via AUX input or your phone’s Bluetooth connection. The tech starts up within a few seconds and voice commands are a breeze thanks to the eight microphones, which will pick up your questions even over the sounds of a busy road.

Once you’ve chosen the right Alexa-integrated product for you, our in-store colleagues can set up your new tech before you drive and, in most cases, fully install your dash cam, Amazon Echo Auto, car stereo or sat nav. Just ask one of our in-store colleagues for help once the lockdown is over.