Amazon Alexa App for iOS Gains Voice Controls

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,434
8,498



Amazon today updated its Alexa app for iOS to add a promised voice control feature that's designed to allow iOS users to tap the Alexa button and use voice commands to ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, check the weather, and more.

As noted by TechCrunch, Amazon introduced voice control to its Alexa app for Android back in January, and at the time, said the feature would be expanded to iOS devices "soon."


Soon turned out to mean six months, but starting today, iOS users can speak with Alexa in the Alexa iOS app and ask standard Alexa questions. There is no native functionality, so pushing an in-app button to activate Alexa is required rather than just saying the "Alexa" trigger phrase.

The new voice control feature will be rolled out to all iOS users "in the coming days."

The Amazon Alexa app can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Amazon Alexa App for iOS Gains Voice Controls
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,454
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
I'm not sure about Alexa for long term practical use anymore. I have a Dot, but rarely use it. Like.... very very rarely. My mom has one and also never uses hers, and same thing with the three that are in my brother's house. The integration of skills just feels janky to me. "Alexa, ask ______ to do something for me" with very few well-developed skills that I would use consistently. I mean, how many pizzas from Dominos do I really want to order?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know I'm not alone based on the things I hear from friends as well. Could the whole Alexa headstart be a fad for those who absolutely love to shop? I feel like Google will outflank them because of their natural advantages with data, and Apple's user base will be just fine with Siri as most of the most-used tasks (weather, shopping, and news flashes) are comparable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: B60boy and Deelron

GenesisST

macrumors 68000
Jan 23, 2006
1,703
580
Where I live
I'm not sure about Alexa for long term practical use anymore. I have a Dot, but rarely use it. Like.... very very rarely. My mom has one and also never uses hers, and same thing with the three that are in my brother's house. The integration of skills just feels janky to me. "Alexa, ask ______ to do something for me" with very few well-developed skills that I would use consistently. I mean, how many pizzas from Dominos do I really want to order?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know I'm not alone based on the things I hear from friends as well. Could the whole Alexa headstart be a fad for those who absolutely love to shop? I feel like Google will outflank them because of their natural advantages with data, and Apple's user base will be just fine with Siri as most of the most-used tasks (weather, shopping, and news flashes) are comparable.
What smart home devices do you use? They might have an updated skills that supports Smart Home Skills, with which you don’t jave to use « ask blablabla » to turn on the light.

My Legrand Adorne lights use to be like that, but they updated the skill (or added a new one, can’t remember)

Also if you group an echo with a light or other device, you can ask that Echo to « turn on the light » withou naming it
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,454
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
What smart home devices do you use? They might have an updated skills that supports Smart Home Skills, with which you don’t jave to use « ask blablabla » to turn on the light.

My Legrand Adorne lights use to be like that, but they updated the skill (or added a new one, can’t remember)

Also if you group an echo with a light or other device, you can ask that Echo to « turn on the light » withou naming it
My setup is largely Sylvania and Vocolinc, but that's the lesser of my concerns. It's more about the external skills aside from lighting and roomba that concerns me. I just feel that it's a bit of a free-for-all right now and lacks focus and execution. Scalability is great, but there comes a point where it's just a mess.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,011
1,291
I'm not sure about Alexa for long term practical use anymore. I have a Dot, but rarely use it. Like.... very very rarely. My mom has one and also never uses hers, and same thing with the three that are in my brother's house. The integration of skills just feels janky to me. "Alexa, ask ______ to do something for me" with very few well-developed skills that I would use consistently. I mean, how many pizzas from Dominos do I really want to order?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know I'm not alone based on the things I hear from friends as well. Could the whole Alexa headstart be a fad for those who absolutely love to shop? I feel like Google will outflank them because of their natural advantages with data, and Apple's user base will be just fine with Siri as most of the most-used tasks (weather, shopping, and news flashes) are comparable.
Smart home and music are how we use ours everyday. The tap is the best, you can take it out in the balcony watch the sunrise with an audible book or music while sipping a nice hot drink.
 

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2016
729
906
I'm not sure about Alexa for long term practical use anymore. I have a Dot, but rarely use it. Like.... very very rarely. My mom has one and also never uses hers, and same thing with the three that are in my brother's house. The integration of skills just feels janky to me. "Alexa, ask ______ to do something for me" with very few well-developed skills that I would use consistently. I mean, how many pizzas from Dominos do I really want to order?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know I'm not alone based on the things I hear from friends as well. Could the whole Alexa headstart be a fad for those who absolutely love to shop? I feel like Google will outflank them because of their natural advantages with data, and Apple's user base will be just fine with Siri as most of the most-used tasks (weather, shopping, and news flashes) are comparable.
For me Alexa is just a way to set timers and play music, with the dot being in addition a very affordable bluetooth interface for my stereo amp to play music from
 

v3rlon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2014
562
209
Earth (usually)
I'm not sure about Alexa for long term practical use anymore. I have a Dot, but rarely use it. Like.... very very rarely. My mom has one and also never uses hers, and same thing with the three that are in my brother's house. The integration of skills just feels janky to me. "Alexa, ask ______ to do something for me" with very few well-developed skills that I would use consistently. I mean, how many pizzas from Dominos do I really want to order?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know I'm not alone based on the things I hear from friends as well. Could the whole Alexa headstart be a fad for those who absolutely love to shop? I feel like Google will outflank them because of their natural advantages with data, and Apple's user base will be just fine with Siri as most of the most-used tasks (weather, shopping, and news flashes) are comparable.
I guess it depends. Integration with Phillips Hue is really good and with Logitech Harmony also. We use Alexa all the time for this.

As an aside, can we either ban companies from using the word “soon” to describe a release date, or at least specify that it means “less than 3 months” because I don’t really think of 6 months as soon. “Very soon” should be less than 1 month. Amazon is hardly the only party at fault here.
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,480
2,221
I'm not sure about Alexa for long term practical use anymore. I have a Dot, but rarely use it. Like.... very very rarely. My mom has one and also never uses hers, and same thing with the three that are in my brother's house. The integration of skills just feels janky to me. "Alexa, ask ______ to do something for me" with very few well-developed skills that I would use consistently. I mean, how many pizzas from Dominos do I really want to order?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know I'm not alone based on the things I hear from friends as well. Could the whole Alexa headstart be a fad for those who absolutely love to shop? I feel like Google will outflank them because of their natural advantages with data, and Apple's user base will be just fine with Siri as most of the most-used tasks (weather, shopping, and news flashes) are comparable.
for me personally its just a smart home device. I dont ask it much else. Sets alarms good too. But when I want my ac changed(homekit doesnt support nest) or I want other devices controlled that I cant from homekit its useful. Not sure what you are expected from it besides basic tasks.
 

cobracnvt

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2017
276
114
I find the biggest issue with voice control is that the only person that really knows how to use it is the person that set it up. Household members that aren't familiar with how to ask for the skill, never know that it's available or how to use it so there isn't much benefit. From what I've seen, asking for a timer or to play music is easy for people, but the voice interface isn't natural enough to be a benefit to take advantage of the all the available "skills".
 

degreethis

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2016
2
0
We already had Alexa in the Amazon Music iOS App.
We, even, had Alexa in the Amazon Shopping iOS App.

What took them so long to add the exact same functionality to their stand-alone Alexa iOS app?
 

Bswails

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2016
153
142
We already had Alexa in the Amazon Music iOS App.
We, even, had Alexa in the Amazon Shopping iOS App.

What took them so long to add the exact same functionality to their stand-alone Alexa iOS app?
You don’t need to tap a button in the music app. So the Alexa app is actually not as good as the music app lol