You can now use Amazon Alexa straight from the Amazon iPhone app

Mar 18, 2017, 00:59
You can now use Amazon Alexa straight from the Amazon iPhone app

And via the app you'll be able to use Alexa in all the same ways you can when you access it by your Echo device. Customers can also ask Alexa to track recent orders, or play audiobooks or songs that the user has bought through Kindle or any of Amazon's music services. However, Alexa will not replace Apple's indigenous AI-based voice assistant Siri, which is integrated into the core operating system. Many will probably revel about the fact that Alexa is now easily accessible on iOS.

The rollout of the new Amazon app for iPhone has begun today, with plans to have it available for every compatible edition of Apple's smartphone within the next week. Sorry Android users; Amazon has yet to roll out Alexa for you. However, the lack of native integration means it can't really use as a truly hands-free replacement, as you'll need to launch the Amazon app and press the microphone icon.

The only issue is that you will not end up using most of its features. Notably, Amazon has a larger library of smart home products that can be controlled through its digital assistant than Apple does, according to ARS Technica - even though there is some overlap between the two.

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The rollout of the new features started earlier this week, but it's unclear when the update will be brought to United Kingdom users.

Essentially, it's a versatile rendition of Alexa that you can utilize even without Amazon equipment, similar to an Echo speaker or Fire TV. Thus, coders are effectively offered $200 worth of usage of Amazon services to enrich the Alexa experience through new functionalities. Word has it that the new feature is now available only in the USA market but it is not known how soon it will arrive in the UK. Of course, the downside is that the Amazon app must be open to use Alexa - a common problem for third-party digital assistants on iOS.