An incoming update for the Amazon app for iOS will add the company’s Alexa voice assistant that was previously limited to the users of its Echo speaker and other Alexa-enabled hardware.
Building on the app’s ability to order using your voice, Alexa will act as your assistant while shopping the Amazon app, allowing you to search and reorder items, track your orders, and more. But it will also include most of the other functionality Alexa has to offer.
You’ll also be able to use Alexa within the app to start playing music from Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Music, or songs you’ve purchased, as well as open Kindle books, both of which present a new built-in media player.
You’ll also be able to tap into Alexa’s other smarts for getting news, weather and traffic information, and the ability to use Alexa Skills and Smart Home features. Those can be configured just like Echo and other Alexa devices via the companion Alexa app: “Skills are voice-driven capabilities that enhance the functionality of your Alexa-enabled device. Set skills and Smart Home capabilities using the Alexa app or on alexa.amazon.com.”
VentureBeat notes that users of Alexa via the Amazon iOS app at first won’t have access to the Door Lock API that allows you to unlock compatible smart door lock products, but otherwise users will be getting a near full-fledged Alexa experience without needing to purchase an Echo speaker or other device.
The update will be rolling out to some users starting today and should be available to all by next week. You can download the latest version of the Amazon app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch on the App Store.