After making quite an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017, Amazon’s Alexa has finally made it to the e-tailer’s own shopping app. The digital voice assistant that can understand requests apart from making purchases on Amazon, will be accessible only inside the Amazon app for iOS, meaning that it is not going to replace Apple’s Siri for now.
So far Amazon has announced the availability of the new feature only for the US market as there is no confirmation about its arrival for the UK and Germany as of now.
Accessing Alexa is simple, but unlike Siri you will have to open the Amazon iOS app to turn it on. You open the Amazon for iOS shopping app and next to the search bar, you will see the usual image search represented by a camera icon and a new mic icon that will trigger Alexa.
And Alexa pretty much works in the same way it does on other Amazon devices. You can shop with Alexa and even listen to music, find and play Kindle books and speak out voice commands to control music playback and selection (Amazon Music that is).
Like every other digital voice assistant out there, Alexa can also answer questions based on people, geography, dates, music, sports and more. Then there are the usual ones like defining words, completing conversations with smart answers, checking the news, weather, traffic and making simple calculations.
The only issue is that you will not end up using most of its features. This is because you will have to launch the Amazon app every single time you want to throw a task or command at Alexa.
Amazon’s Alexa has begun to show up on a number of devices, apart from Amazon’s Dot and Echo speakers. Indeed, this is a push by Amazon to get Alexa out there since it does not have a more personal device like a smartphone in its current product portfolio. Amazon tried to push out its own smartphone called the ‘Fire Phone‘, a few years ago. But it failed miserably due to its pricing, the lack of Google apps and access to the Play Store.