After bringing its voice driven personal assistant platform to Android devices via a dedicated Google Play app earlier this year, Amazon promised it would eventually bring similar functionality to select iPhone and iPad devices via a routine update to its Alexa app for iOS.
Nearly five-months later the e-commerce giant has finally delivered on its promise of bringing full voice control functionality to its Alexa app for iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad users a capable new method for carrying-out a wide range of voice-driven activities.
Amazon’s Alexa app for iOS has been available for a while now, however, in previous versions the software was limited to engaging in select actions — such as scheduling an appointment or placing calls to other users — directly through Echo smart speakers.
With this week’s update to version 2.2.21, Amazon’s Alexa app for iOS brings much broader, Siri-like functionality to iPhone and iPad.
Users are now able to use the Alexa app to carry out a wide range of activities, including the ability to control a number of powerful and innovative smart home devices, smart kitchen appliances, digital music playlists, check the weather and even ask general queries.
Certain actions, such as scheduling an appointment or looking up sports scores, for example, are further accompanied by the presentation of infographic diagrams on the screen. And much akin to Apple’s native Siri platform, Alexa on iOS is powered by Amazon’s offsite servers for quick and efficient processing of commands.
Unlike Siri, Alexa on iPhone and iPad can only be used directly from the Alexa app by tapping a small “text bubble button” in the center of the display and using the sound of your voice.
Alexa is unable, therefore, to function in the background like Apple’s always-on “Hey Siri” feature — however her capabilities still offer die-hard iOS fans an alternative option for controlling their phone, smart home devices, and more, in the event Siri isn’t rising to the occasion.
Amazon’s move to bring full-fledged Alexa functionality to iPhone and iPad is merely the latest in a string of recent Alexa-centric announcements from the e-commerce giant, and comes off the heels of Amazon releasing its innovative Fire TV Cube which touts in-built Alexa support.
The Alexa app for iOS is available as a free download from the App Store now.