Siri competitor Alexa comes to iPhone via Amazon's official app

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 16
Amazon on Thursday began updating its official app for iOS to bring support for Alexa, its voice-driven personal assistant, officially to the iPhone, allowing users to ask questions, shop, play music and more.




Rolling out to users beginning Thursday afternoon and over the next week, the updated Amazon iOS app will include a microphone icon to the right of the search box dedicated to Alexa. In addition to giving basic functions for the online storefront, such as searching for products or tracking orders, it also competes with Apple's Siri by answering questions.

As with the Echo and other Alexa-powered accessories, Amazon's new iOS app allows users to ask queries such as "When is Memorial Day?" or give commands such as "Tell me a joke."

In addition, Alexa Skills are also included, giving users the ability to control smart home functions from within the Amazon app.




Alexa can also provide users with news updates, weather conditions, and the latest traffic. And it can be used to play artists, genres of music, or listen to Kindle audiobooks.

Of course, Apple's Siri still has a number of major advantages over Alexa on the iPhone, including systemwide integration and support for always-listening "Hey Siri," regardless of whether the phone is unlocked or not. Amazon's Alexa integration requires a user to unlock their phone, launch the Amazon app, and tap a button.




Such limitations have not prevented Siri competitors from attempting to make headway on the iPhone, however. In fact, just last week, Microsoft's own Cortana was given an overhaul for iPhone, loading faster and defaulting into listening mode for voice commands and questions.

Apple, meanwhile, is said to be working on an improved version of Siri that could launch later this year, alongside an anticipated "iOS 11" update and new iPhone hardware. The company has recently made acquisitions signaling it plans to further improve Siri, via the purchase of machine learning startup Perceptio and vocal processing company VocalIQ.

Amazon's Alexa was born on the company's Echo hardware speakers, but is now arriving on an increasing number of first- and third-party devices, as Amazon embraces and open and platform-agnostic view for its service. For example, Huawei is using Alexa on its Mate 9 handset.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    lmagoolmagoo Posts: 48member
    I would NOT even think of putting anything from Amazon or Google on my phone....
    brakkenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,001member
    Boycott!!! Amazon arrogantly refused to put their Prime video App on AppleTV and now they want Apple users to use their voice crap to get diverted to Amazon for purchase? Just say No Way! Use Walmart instead.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    Boycott!!! Amazon arrogantly refused to put their Prime video App on AppleTV and now they want Apple users to use their voice crap to get diverted to Amazon for purchase? Just say No Way! Use Walmart instead.


    My first thought as well and the final nail in the Amazon coffin for me.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    Boycott!!! Amazon arrogantly refused to put their Prime video App on AppleTV and now they want Apple users to use their voice crap to get diverted to Amazon for purchase? Just say No Way! Use Walmart instead.
    Amazon video is by far the most popular video streaming service and one of the reasons why my family mostly use one of our Rokus than the two ATV4s that we have (that and the remote on the ATV4 is not family friendly). Apple should cut a deal with Amazon to get Amazon Video on board, but they won't because they always hardball negotiations.
    bigpicsavon b7
  • Reply 5 of 13
    I actually have been waiting for Alexa to come to iOS. iOS is still where the money is and if MSFT and AMZN keep Google's assistant off of Apple devices, it is still a big win in the grand scheme of things. I like the Bing app very much. If enter the name of a professional, it will usually bring up the phone number and address promptly. Quite unlike the results I get from Google. 

    I have also been irritated by the lack of Prime video on Apple TV, but it hasn't been much of a problem. I just use the app on the iPad or iPhone and link to the Apple TV using AirPlay. It works pretty well. 
  • Reply 6 of 13
    It is even accompanied by CIA survellance according to some video ;)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,397member
    wood1208 said:
    Boycott!!! Amazon arrogantly refused to put their Prime video App on AppleTV and now they want Apple users to use their voice crap to get diverted to Amazon for purchase? Just say No Way! Use Walmart instead.
    Amazon video is by far the most popular video streaming service and one of the reasons why my family mostly use one of our Rokus than the two ATV4s that we have (that and the remote on the ATV4 is not family friendly). Apple should cut a deal with Amazon to get Amazon Video on board, but they won't because they always hardball negotiations.
    1) Please source your claim that Prime is the most popular video streaming service. Netflix comes to mind.

    2) No "deal" is needed -- Amazon is 100% free to release a Prime video player on tvOS today, just as they have on iOS. There's absolutely no one stopping them, except Bezos himself. Which means he is not aligned with his customers. That is his failing, not Apple's. I sure do wish he would stop hating his paying customers sometime soon...
    roundaboutnowlolliveruraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,716member
    wood1208 said:
    Boycott!!! Amazon arrogantly refused to put their Prime video App on AppleTV and now they want Apple users to use their voice crap to get diverted to Amazon for purchase? Just say No Way! Use Walmart instead.
    Amazon video is by far the most popular video streaming service and one of the reasons why my family mostly use one of our Rokus than the two ATV4s that we have (that and the remote on the ATV4 is not family friendly). Apple should cut a deal with Amazon to get Amazon Video on board, but they won't because they always hardball negotiations.
    You cannot produce evidence of your claim. As for cutting a deal, no deal is needed. And remember Amazon has also banned the sale of the Apple TV on their websites. Why is that if not purely anti-competitive? The ATV remote is not family friendly? Bullshit. Man your head is full of mush from listening to too much FUD.
    jony0roundaboutnowlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,224member
    wood1208 said:
    Boycott!!! Amazon arrogantly refused to put their Prime video App on AppleTV and now they want Apple users to use their voice crap to get diverted to Amazon for purchase? Just say No Way! Use Walmart instead.
    Amazon video is by far the most popular video streaming service and one of the reasons why my family mostly use one of our Rokus than the two ATV4s that we have (that and the remote on the ATV4 is not family friendly). Apple should cut a deal with Amazon to get Amazon Video on board, but they won't because they always hardball negotiations.
    Get informed or stop commenting. Simple as that. You are peddling bullshit.
    roundaboutnowlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    The funny thing that not many people know is that with Amazon's or Google's Assistants on your Device you are now dissolving your device security as they act as a way to bypass the lockdowns for the cameras and the microphone.  And if you use other apps by the prior companies you basically have an insecure device all around.  It is up to you, have unobstructed invasion of privacy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13

    Apple, meanwhile, is said to be working on an improved version of Siri that could launch later this year, alongside an anticipated "iOS 11" update and new iPhone hardware. The company has recently made acquisitions signaling it plans to further improve Siri, via the purchase of machine learning startup Perceptio and vocal processing company VocalIQ.
    Can anyone explain why we have to wait for iOS 11 before we see improvements to Siri? It's my understanding that changes to Siri are made on the backend and can become immediately available to the end user. If that is the case, why wait?

    I seem to remember Phil Schiller (maybe?) mentioning in an article a couple of years ago that Siri was on its third iteration and the upgrades happened seamlessly, one day Siri just got an improvement. 
    edited March 16
  • Reply 12 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,397member

    Apple, meanwhile, is said to be working on an improved version of Siri that could launch later this year, alongside an anticipated "iOS 11" update and new iPhone hardware. The company has recently made acquisitions signaling it plans to further improve Siri, via the purchase of machine learning startup Perceptio and vocal processing company VocalIQ.
    Can anyone explain why we have to wait for iOS 11 before we see improvements to Siri? It's my understanding that changes to Siri are made on the backend and can become immediately available to the end user. If that is the case, why wait?

    I seem to remember Phil Schiller (maybe?) mentioning in an article a couple of years ago that Siri was on its third iteration and the upgrades happened seemlessly, one day Siri just got an improvement. 
    Some functionality, sure, but there is surely local code to handle data returned from Siri as well. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,194member
    I already said this on the Verge but nobody reads that (/joke) 

    I can see two potential problems …

    1) "Hey Siri, Open Alexa"
    "No!"
    Or
    2) "Hey Siri….. Hey SIRI ….  HEY SIRI!"
    "Oh sorry Dave, I was talking to Alexa, I didn’t hear you"

    watto_cobra
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