Amazon adds full Alexa capabilities to their iPhone app

Amazon has brought Alexa to the iPhone. There have been other iPhone apps that enabled access to Amazon’s voice assistant from the iPhone, but this is the frist time Amazon has done it themselves. Instead of creating a separate app to access Alexa, the voice assistant has been built-into the standard Amazon app.

At the top of the Amazon app in the iTunes App Store is a microphone button, just to the right of the search field. Tapping it allows you to talk to Alexa and hear back responses through the iPhone.

All of the usual capabilities you expect out of Alexa are present with this new mobile implementation. You can use the voice assistant to search Amazon and order items directly. You can ask to play music, read Kindle books, and ask general knowledge questions.

Alexa on the iPhone also has access to all 10,000+ Alexa Skills, just like through any Alexa-enabled device from Amazon. This includes full Alexa control of smart home devices, so you can now finally bring up Alexa while you’re away from home and control your smart thermostats, plugs, lights, and more the same way you do through Amazon Echos and Fire TVs.

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12 comments
  1. Jay says:

    Even more Amazon integration with an Apple product, yet still no Amazon Video app on Apple TV.

    • John says:

      Pretty sure Amazon does not want to fork over 30% of every purchase to Apple. Nor do they want to maintain an app for viewing only, given that their business model relies on making it easy for people to buy/rent more. It’s not laziness. It’s a business case. If I were Amazon, I wouldn’t invest in developing/maintaining an AppleTV app, either.

      • Ujn Hunter says:

        Why would Amazon need to pay Apple 30% for any purchase? They aren’t IAP (In App Purchases), otherwise why wouldn’t Amazon have to pay Apple for any of the purchases made through the “Amazon” store App? i.e. I can buy socks from the Amazon App and they wouldn’t have to pay Apple anything… or is this strictly an “Apple TV” thing and not an Apple thing in general? i.e. No Amazon App on Apple TV so it doesn’t count?

        • AFTVnews says:

          Both Apple and Google’s app store rules dictate that all digital sales and subscriptions in apps must use the user’s Apple and Google accounts, and are therefore subject to the 30% cut that goes to Apple or Google.

          This does not effect physical goods, like socks, but does effect video rentals/purchases and sign-ups for Prime done through apps.

          That is why there is no Amazon Video app for Apple TV. Amazon got around this rule with the NVIDIA Shield TV by partnering with NVIDIA and distributing their Amazon Video app through a software update for the Shield, instead of the Google Play Store, since the 30% rule only applies to apps distributed through the official app stores. They got around the restriction for Android phones and tablets by making user’s sideload the Amazon Underground app. The iPhone and iPad Amazon Video apps are crippled and don’t allow any purchasing.

          Amazon took a stance against the 30% rule by not releasing any new crippled apps and by also banning all Apple TVs, Nexus Players, and Chromecasts from the Amazon.com retail site.

    • derrick says:

      Yeah, because this doesn’t cost Amazon a percentage of sales.

  2. Kevin Wyman says:

    I can’t get Alexa to load in the app. I just downloaded it today. Is there some setting I need to invoke in order to get Alexa to respond? If I ask “Alex, what time is it?” it takes me to books about time on the amazon store.

    • John Andersen says:

      Mine does the same. The amazon app still seems to be exclusively for shopping. But the idea was awesome for turning on the lights from my phone in the room with out echo or dot.

  3. derrick says:

    do alexa skill NOT work with fire tv stick. Because i added one, i think a water sounds ones or something that said it worked with mine and it said it wouldn’t work. And it seems on a firestick Alexa is almost pointless except asking what time is it and what time does my local business close.

  4. James Woodward says:

    Does not work for me.

  5. Doug says:

    Does this work in U.K.? Just seem to have basic voice search here on my app.

  6. Gdroid666 says:

    Did they already add this functionality to the Android version?

  7. gremlin says:

    I expect this facility will be added in the UK later. Amazon always makes the UK wait. AFTVnews should specify which country a facility is available in.

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