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Amazon's Alexa comes to iOS

Alexa is now available to help in the Amazon iOS app. (Source: Amazon)
Alexa is now available to help in the Amazon iOS app. (Source: Amazon)
The digital assistant is currently only available in Amazon's own app and is somewhat limited in what it can do. However, it can still query information, order products, and control other connected devices in a smart home.

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“Alexa, replace Siri.”

Amazon updated their shopping app on Thursday, bringing their digital assistant Alexa to the software. Users can now query Alexa for information and shopping help just like on the Amazon Echo. The assistant is accessible only through the Amazon app and seems more attuned to improving the shopping experience rather than acting as a full out digital assistant. While it can provide answers (and jokes) when asked, its specialty lies in sifting through Amazon’s massive product warehouse to pinpoint the best brand of cereal (or whatever else you might need).

It doesn’t look like Alexa can do some of the more basic functions of a digital assistant such as placing a phone call, sending text messages, or posting to social media. However, Amazon may be able to bring that functionality in a later update. It would be a long shot, as Apple tends to limit app integration on iOS. The Cupertino giant would be hesitant to give another digital assistant the tight integration Siri currently enjoys.

The Google app, which brought the Google Now assistant to iOS, currently cannot do much more than act as a search tool. It can’t call anyone or interact with anything outside of Google’s app. Alexa will likely be relegated to the same fate in the Amazon app.

However, it is interesting that Amazon was able to push such a digital assistant onto the platform at all. The retailer has claimed that they’ve sold millions of Alexa-enabled products which could massively increase Alexa’s prevalence in the industry. Right now, for iOS users interested in controlling their smart home, ordering 50 pounds of dog food, and hearing why the chicken crossed the playground, Alexa and Amazon’s app may be a good fit.

 

 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 03 > Amazon's Alexa comes to iOS
Sam Medley, 2017-03-17 (Update: 2017-03-17)
Sam Medley

Sam Medley - Review Editor
@samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.