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Developers at U.S. digital consultancy Rain have created a little-known app called Reverb that allows users to access Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant from their Mac desktop or iOS device.

Launching the free Mac app prompts users to sign in to their Amazon account, after which a window opens showing the familiar blue Alexa ring on the desktop. Click and hold on the ring with the mouse cursor, and provided an internet connection is active, the virtual assistant listens and responds to the sort of spoken questions and commands usually directed at Amazon's Echo range of smart speakers.

screen800x500-800x500.jpeg

The iOS app works similarly, and the latest version of Reverb uses Alexa v2, which adds support for news flashes, timers, alarms, long form audio, audiobooks, and more. It can also interact with smart devices that are compatible with Alexa, such as lights, switches, and thermostats compatible with Samsung SmartThings, WeMo, Philips Hue, and others. The only Alexa service Reverb does not support is playing music, due to restrictions Amazon has placed on using Amazon Music in apps.

In addition to the above, users can enable third-party skills through the app with a simple voice command - "Enable Bird Songs", for example. In testing, the Mac app also responded to new skills enabled through Amazon's Alexa iOS app, which officially supports and integrates with the Reverb app for iOS.

The apps provide a convenient solution for Echo owners wishing to make Alexa available in, say, their office room or study, without having to buy an additional supporting device. It also offers prospective Echo buyers an opportunity to test the service prior to making a purchase, and at the very least gives curious Mac users a chance to compare Alexa's and Siri's smarts side by side on their desktop.

Reverb for Amazon Alexa is a free download available for Mac from the Mac App Store [Direct Link] and for iPhone and iPad on the iOS App Store [Direct Link].

Article Link: Free App 'Reverb' Brings Amazon's Alexa to Mac Desktops, iPhones, and iPads
 

nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,403
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Tennessee
I wouldn't be surprised to see apple banish this app art some point due to "duplicated functionality." Might be worth downloading while you can. If only you could replace Siri with it...
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,777
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If Apple did then the devs could just host the app on their own website. The benefits of a non walled garden Eco system!!
I wouldn't be surprised to see apple banish this app art some point due to "duplicated functionality." Might be worth downloading while you can. If only you could replace Siri with it...
 

HeatherA

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2009
426
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BTW everyone is this app safe to link to your Amazon account ?

Good question. It appears to use Amazon's log-in which I assume works like FB's login options across the web. Meaning it should bypass the developer and connect directly with Amazon keeping us as safe as Amazon's security measures allow.
 
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timmyh

Contributing Editor
Mar 18, 2016
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Edinburgh, UK
Good question. It appears to use Amazon's log-in which I assume works like FB's login options across the web. Meaning it should bypass the developer and connect directly with Amazon keeping us as safe as Amazon's security measures allow.

That sounds about right. Also Rain is a partner agency with Amazon on their Skills Hub.
 
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max2

macrumors 601
May 31, 2015
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Good question. It appears to use Amazon's log-in which I assume works like FB's login options across the web. Meaning it should bypass the developer and connect directly with Amazon keeping us as safe as Amazon's security measures allow.

Thanks for the quick reply!
 

HeatherA

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2009
426
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Thanks for the quick reply!

My pleasure. This is directly from Amazon's site:

Manage Login with Amazon
Login with Amazon allows you to log in to registered third-party websites or apps using your Amazon user name and password. It also allows you to opt-in to sharing certain information from your personal profile with the third-party website or app. Additionally, it allows you to provide consent to third-party websites and apps to access and modify data from other Amazon services.

Reverb shows as one of my authorized, FYI
 
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Zirel

Suspended
Jul 24, 2015
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Only downloaded it cuz i fully expect Apple to remove it lol

Remove it, because what?

There are dozens of similar apps on the AppStore, including Google's.

Much more likely that Amazon removes it
 

canny

Suspended
Jun 11, 2009
141
524
This makes Apple TV redundant for use with Siri as a smart home hub - as long as you are happy to launch the Reverb app before talking.

(You can control smart devices over 4G with this, not just when you are on same wifi)

In allowing this app, Apple is perhaps just shrugging its shoulders and saying 'We can't do tech, we will just concentrate on watch straps'
 
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Brandenr

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2017
11
16
Salt Lake City, UT
Remove it, because what?

There are dozens of similar apps on the AppStore, including Google's.

Much more likely that Amazon removes it

Amazon is aware of this app and allows it. We are following all their rules of security and features.
[doublepost=1487514072][/doublepost]
My pleasure. This is directly from Amazon's site:

Manage Login with Amazon
Login with Amazon allows you to log in to registered third-party websites or apps using your Amazon user name and password. It also allows you to opt-in to sharing certain information from your personal profile with the third-party website or app. Additionally, it allows you to provide consent to third-party websites and apps to access and modify data from other Amazon services.

Reverb shows as one of my authorized, FYI

The access to modify your account is only used by your commands to Alexa to enable skills, change shopping lists, etc. The app doesn't directly make any changes to your account itself.

You can go to Amazon's settings for content and devices and remove Reverb if you wish when you no longer want to use it.
[doublepost=1487514282][/doublepost]
Just downloaded this. Do not have any Echo devices yet, this could be a nice way to play with some of the features and get it working with IFTTT.

An Echo isn't required. Revrb is just as functional without one. Alexa Voice Service doesn't allow things like Amazon Music or shopping, but that's true whether or not you have an Echo.
 
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TrueBlou

macrumors 601
Sep 16, 2014
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Scotland
This makes Apple TV redundant for use with Siri as a smart home hub - as long as you are happy to launch the Reverb app before talking.

(You can control smart devices over 4G with this, not just when you are on same wifi)

In allowing this app, Apple is perhaps just shrugging its shoulders and saying 'We can't do tech, we will just concentrate on watch straps'


I can control all of my smart devices over cellular with Apple TV, my Philips Hue lights work natively with HomeKit from anywhere and I've setup Homebridge to add in my Logitech Harmony Hub among other things.

Homebridge is an awesome thing, it adds so much to HomeKit that isn't supported officially.

Anyway, downloaded this for a bit of fun, curiosity really. But it doesn't do anything I can't already do with Home and Siri and this implementation doesn't have a clue where I am for weather and news, though I'd imagine the actual Echo to be better for that. Well, I'd hope so anyway. I'll be keeping it for a while to play with though.
 

Brandenr

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2017
11
16
Salt Lake City, UT
and this implementation doesn't have a clue where I am for weather and news, though I'd imagine the actual Echo to be better for that. Well, I'd hope so anyway. I'll be keeping it for a while to play with though.

Amazon requires setting a location and time zone for each alexa capable device/app. Please go to Alexa.amazon.com or use the Alexa app and set your location in settings for Reverb, just like you would for an Echo.
 
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TrueBlou

macrumors 601
Sep 16, 2014
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Scotland
Amazon requires setting a location and time zone for each alexa capable device/app. Please go to Alexa.amazon.com or use the Alexa app and set your location in settings for Reverb, just like you would for an Echo.

Hi, thanks but I'd already done that. I'm guessing it's a glitch (in the matrix? Ha there's a retro quote :D) I'll try it at various intervals and see if it irons itself out.
 

Terrinb

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2015
98
81
I wouldn't be surprised to see apple banish this app art some point due to "duplicated functionality." Might be worth downloading while you can. If only you could replace Siri with it...


I'm not sure why Apple would do that. It's not like Apple doesn't allow Amazon to host other Apps on Apple's platform.

Now Amazon on the other hand is the one that doesn't play well with others.
 

kryten42

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2015
254
266
In a little world of my own
An Echo isn't required. Revrb is just as functional without one. Alexa Voice Service doesn't allow things like Amazon Music or shopping, but that's true whether or not you have an Echo.
Yes, I know I don't need an Echo for this, that is the reason I am trying it. Want to see if it is worth picking up a few dots.
 

AlliFlowers

macrumors 601
Jan 1, 2011
4,539
15,745
L.A. (Lower Alabama)
This is fantastic! I use my Dot to order from Amazon all the time. (Twice this morning!) Sometimes I remember something I need to order while I'm out, and don't have time to go to the Amazon app.

Thanks for answering all the questions, @Brandenr.
 
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