Echo Dot, black and white

By: Nick Gambino

Everybody’s second favorite (1st favorite?) digital assistant is coming to the iPhone. That’s right Alexa is being integrated into the iOS Amazon app.

You’ll see this update popping up in the next week for all users in the U.S. Some should already have it on their phones today.

The feature is pretty simple. When you open the Amazon app you’ll see a little microphone at the top. Tap it to get Alexa’s attention. Now ask her anything much the way you would when using your Echo or Dot in your home.

Alexa can make purchases for you, answer trivia questions, play music, check the weather or even operate smart products. Again much the way the Echo or Dot works.

Now this might lead you to believe that you can replace Siri with the Amazon assistant but this is not the case. You will find certain functions and operations are limited. Siri is built in to operate the…operating system. So, Alexa won’t be able to wrangle control of those functions.

You’ll still have to use Siri for more device-centric commands. Also, seeing as though you can only use Alexa when the Amazon app is open, routine checks of the weather and other commands are best left to Siri.

Alexa will be most handy with commands centered around Amazon like making a purchase, playing Amazon music and searching for items.  Really iOS Alexa is more of a novelty and a “cool to have.”

But still if you’ve already got Amazon products in your home connected to other smart appliances than this is just another way to sync up all of your electronics.

What are your thoughts on Alexa coming to the iOS Amazon app? Is it necessary or merely a nice to have? Discuss it in the comments below!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.