Apple does host an Alexa app for iOS devices, but it serves as a companion to devices supporting Alexa. The Nucleus smart home intercom, JAM Voice portable speaker system, and Logitech ZeroTouch smartphone auto mount are a few Alexa-enabled gadgets that launched in 2016, and Amazon said several other companies, including LG, Huawei, and Ford plan to release new products taking advantage of this functionality this year. Amazon hasn't given any word on whether or not it intends to launch this in other regions, but you have to imagine that it's coming soon.
The good news here is that within the next week, Amazon will have the Alexa digital assistant integrated into the iOS app. And it could be a huge help to anyone who's filling their home with Alexa-enabled devices.
Thus far, Alexa has been exclusive to Amazon's own lineup of devices, like the Echo or the Fire TV Stick. This is right next to the search bar, and previously the icon would let you just voice search on Amazon.
Shoppers using the Amazon app could already search for products or check their order status with vocal commands.
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No, that doesn't mean you can replace Siri with Alexa. But that's not the entire story though - you can even ask Alexa to play you songs straight from Amazon Music, provided you have a subscription for it. You can control HomeKit-compatible devices with Siri in the same way that you can control Alexa-compatible devices with Amazon's assistant. That includes everything from having it make purchases for you, look up facts, or control smart home products. Despite being part of a shopping app, Alexa can do a lot more than order the occasional Wish List splurge.
Amazon is clearly betting on these third-party integrations to make Alexa as useful as possible. Some people are not that familiar with the digital assistant world, especially Alexa, so this is a great way to use Alexa to get it to more people. And iPhone users will still need the dedicated Alexa app (iTunes link) to change their settings.
Amazon said the feature began rolling out today, and should be available to all users within the United States by sometime next week.