Amazon today announced that Alexa is coming to the Alexa iOS app for iPhone and iPad users. You’d think an app made to help users control the AI assistant and interact with information it serves up would come with Alexa inside, but that wasn’t the case until this year. Though Echo speakers have been available since 2014, Alexa was added to the Alexa app for Android smartphone users in January and will be rolled out for iOS users in the coming days, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.
Alexa on an iPhone or iPad can do many of the same things the AI assistant can do in a smart speaker, such as control smart home devices, set a timer, tell you about the weather or latest news, or speak with more than 40,000 Alexa skills.
Alexa on iOS isn’t a voice-only experience. The assistant provides visuals of information whenever you ask for a sports score or weather forecast or for things like calendar appointments or movie times.
The AI assistant in the app likely builds upon the Alexa team’s experience bringing the assistant to more visual surfaces. Since last June, Alexa has been added to the Echo Show and Echo Spot, as well as to personal computers from companies like Acer and HP.
This approach would be in line with smart touch screen displays made to have Google Assistant inside that are due out next month, which build on the way Google Assistant operates on Android smartphones and tablets.