Amazon Alexa is now closer to its main rival, Apple’s Siri. This week, the Seattle-based electronic and cloud computing company updated its official iOS app to add support for its AI assistant.
On Thursday, VentureBeat learned that Amazon is making its Alexa assistant available to iPhone users starting this week until the following week. This means when iPhone users receive an update for their Amazon app, they’ll be getting not just certain improvements for the app’s features, but also the intelligent assistant Alexa that boasts of over 10,000 skills.
With the addition of Alexa into the Amazon iOS app, users will now see a microphone icon on the far right of the search box. This icon is dedicated to Alexa, so users have to press it to summon the AI assistant. Alexa can now do the shopping and the tracking of orders for iPhone users. Not only that, Alexa can also give weather updates, play music and even tell a joke.
The update would also lead to a tighter competition between Alexa and Siri, for both have the ability to answer queries. It’s also good to note that while Siri can control HomeKit, Amazon’s AI has Alexa Skills to control smart home functions and other devices, as per Apple Insider.
The only disadvantage of using Alexa is the fact that it can only be used while running the Amazon app. On the other hand, Siri has systemwide integration on the iPhone and it also has the always-listening “Hey Siri” feature that can be activated even when the handset is locked. Therefore, choosing one over the other all comes down to personal preference.
Amazon is rolling out the new update for its app starting this Thursday, and the rollout is expected to be fully realized by next week, according to MacRumors. Sadly, the Alexa-focused update does not come with the Door Lock API, making it impossible for users to lock and unlock doors with smart locks using the Amazon app just yet.