“Apple’s Siri may not be the most capable voice assistant, or the most beloved,” Brian Barrett reports for Barron’s. “In the race to dominate the next generation of interfaces, though, Siri had one key advantage: a cushy home on hundreds of millions of iPhones. Now, however, Amazon has snuck Alexa onto iOS — making this look more and more like a blowout.”
“What makes Alexa on iOS so intriguing isn’t just that it’s there, but where,” Barrett reports. “Alexa will live inside the main iOS Amazon app, one of the most popular downloads in the entire App Store. That puts iPhone and iPad owners just two taps away — one to open the Amazon app, the next to activate the microphone — from a voice assistant that doesn’t just rival Siri, but surpasses it in significant ways. Alexa’s popularity should already be giving Apple fits. Now it’s coming from inside the phone.”
“Alexa’s not perfect, but it’s at least got depth. Thanks to Amazon’s aggressive courtship of developers, Alexa has 10,000 ‘skills’ onboard, which are like apps that you shout at instead of tapping… ‘Frankly, I’m surprised Apple allowed it,’ says Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey,” Barrett reports. “Amazon’s shopping app, already a top destination, now becomes a Trojan Horse for Amazon’s most promising product in years. Stop in to check the daily deals, and get acquainted with the most fully formed voice assistant out there while you’re at it. Might as well order an Echo or Dot or Tap while you’re in there.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Siri is intertwined with iOS. Siri is not an app you have to run. Alexa will live inside of Amazon’s iOS app, but it won’t affect Siri on iPhones and iPads as very few users are going to launch a shopping app then tap again to get to a Siri knockoff. Those two taps to get to Alexa might as well be fifty versus “Hey Siri,” a simple push of the Home button, or a quick double-tap on an AirPod.