Amazon is bringing Alexa to iOS devices as part of the company’s main shopping app. This isn’t the first time Alexa has been on a smartphone — third-party apps on both iOS and Android have integrated the digital assistant — but it’s the first time that it’s coming directly from Amazon.
Following the update, which will be rolling out over the next few weeks in the US, users will see a microphone icon next to the search bar that they can press to call up Alexa. The voice assistant can help you shop and track packages, but it can also do most of the things Alexa can do on the Echo. This includes playing music, looking up facts, controlling smart home products, whether information and more.
Users can also enable additional “skills” developed by third-party developers for Alexa — there are currently over 10,000 available — but you’ll need to have the Amazon Alexa app installed as well.
The move puts Alexa in direct competition with Siri and many will argue that Amazon’s assistant is more capable than Apple’s. 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.