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. Users cannot only order things using voice command, but also get answer for nearly all queries.
Before, the main way to use Alexa on a smartphone was through a separate Alexa app that lets users add skills and interact with their Echoes. 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.
Although this puts Alexa in direct competition with Siri, Apple's voice assistant has the upper-hand in that it's truly hands-free. In doing so, however, Alexa is on a collision course with Apple's chatty iPhone companion, Siri. The organization reported it's coordinating Alexa into its shopping app on iPhone, beginning today with a full rollout expected by one week from now. To ask any question, simply tap on the microphone icon next to the search bar in the Amazon app and say things like "tell me a joke", or "who is Abraham Lincoln".
From there, Alexa will read you your selected news briefings or read the last book you were reading on the Kindle app. Amazon has yet to specify whether or not Alexa will also be added to the equivalent Android app.
Amazon Alexa vice president Steve Rabuchin said: "There is already a large community of incredibly engaged developers building skills for Alexa". This gives iOS users access to Alexa's many features anywhere, anytime.
The rollout of the new features started earlier this week, but it's unclear when the update will be brought to United Kingdom users.
If you've noticed, the mic icon has been there for a while now, but until the recent update, its job has been merely to help users find a particular product.