Three months ago, i.e. in the month of March, 2018, Amazon added Alexa Voice controls to its Shopping App for iOS. Amazon had promise it would soon be available as a third party operating system, and they kept their promise.
Why did Amazon make this move?
Amazon is considered as one of the best digital assistants among the other 3, but it had a drawback due to the lack of mobile user base. It has been growing among the speakers but Amazon really wants to compete with Google Assistant and Siri.
The company has seen some small in-roads through partnerships with Android hardware developers like Motorola and Huawei, but Google and Apple have a clear vested interest in developing their own smart assistant ecosystem.
Earlier, in January, 2018, Amazon’s Alexa was available for Android users. Thus, it is quite obvious Amazon is making a big leap towards third party operating systems.
Will Alexa replace Siri?
As of yet, No. Alexa will be available in an app without any waking calls like “Hey Alexa”. Although this call out feature was available on Echo speakers.
Unlike Android devices where Alexa can be used as a default assistant since May, Apple would surely not allow Alexa to replace Siri due to Apple’s control over the hardware access.
Thus, we can call this update as ‘Nearly Hands-free’. This basically means you will have to tap on the app and then use Alexa accordingly.
For what purposes can Alexa be used on iOS?
Earlier this was the scenario –
- Alexa was first added to Echo Show and Echo Spot along with PCs like Acer as well as HP.
- Could only use it to adjust various settings on Echo and Alexa-enabled devices.
- Used to message other Alexa contacts via Amazon’s Calling & Messaging feature.
- Largely relegated to interactions with Amazon Echo speakers, like setting up a new device or placing calls to other users.
Current scenario –
- Use it to control your connected smart home devices.
- Ask about things like the weather and access any of its 40,000-plus skills.
- Alexa on iOS and Android also has a visual component to it. This means, when you ask about the weather, you get a visual representation of the answer on your phone.
- If you ask about your calendar events, you see your upcoming appointments.
- You can use Alexa to answer any general queries and control music playback.
- Mobile aside, the digital assistant is available in a range of speakers, and it’s now coming to cars as well as kitchen appliances.
Alexa for iOS is a free download from the App Store. This new update will be rolled out to the users in “the coming days” as a free download. Hence, go ahead and make the best use of Amazon’s Alexa.