People in Germany who own an Echo device can now ask Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant to stream any audio show available on the Apple Podcasts directory.
This feature, first spotted by German-language blog Macerkopf.de, is compatible with the Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices from Amazon.
When the user links their account in the Alexa app using their Apple ID, they can ask Alexa to play a podcast episode from the Apple Podcasts directory. In addition, Alexa supports voice controls for podcasts, such as pausing and skipping back or forth through episodes.
Here are a few examples of what you can do:
- Alexa, play Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend on Apple Podcasts
- Alexa, play The Daily from yesterday on Apple Podcasts
- Alexa, resume playing Business Wars on Apple Podcasts
- Alexa, fast forward 30 seconds
- Alexa, next episode
Playback is synchronizes seamlessly across platforms, which means people needn’t worry about losing their spot. You can just pick up right where you left off listening on the Apple Podcasts app or your Alexa device.
Unless you change your app defaults in the Alexa app, each request must include the words “on Apple Podcasts”. To set Apple Podcasts as the default podcast provider, open the Alexa app’s settings and choose “Music & Podcasts,“ then tap the option “Link/Manage New Services“. Next, use the “Select Default Service“ option and set it to “Apple Podcasts“.
Now when you use Alexa to request a podcast sans the “on Apple Podcasts” part, Amazon will now attempt to play the requested episode from Apple Podcasts, if available. This is the same feature that customers in the Untied States have had since December 2019.