Amazon’s Alexa arrives on iPhones and iPads; challenges Siri on Apple’s iOS

“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.


  1. I wouldn’t use Amazon’s or Google’s assistant ever. As soon as the Feds want some data, they would roll over and say take it or having it hacked from them, if of course they haven’t sold the information first.

    1. Not unique to Apple. It’s Amazon’s way of protecting its own streaming products. The Amazon Prime streaming App doesn’t exist on ChromeCast or any Android TV either.

  2. Alexa exists to enable shopping on Amazon. Not a Siri substitute. I also have a separate Echo Dot. The novelty wears off quickly. Never been interested in turning lights on and off or flush toilets by clapping my hands or now, talking to a speaker.

    1. Alexa is handy to have, but mostly as a novelty. I don’t shop with it. I will appreciate having it on the iPhone, though, for those times when I am somewhere in the house and out of range of my echo dot, because my iPhone stays with me at all times. Until the echo.can respond to general information queries similar to what Google Home does, it’s usefulness is limited to news and weather briefings, and controlling the lights in the rooms without having to pull my phone out. If Alexa is going to make me pull out my phone to look something up, I’m going to just take out my phone and use Siri to do it.

  3. “Frankly, I’m surprised Apple allowed it,’ says Forrester Research analyst James ”

    Who Is Not Surprised and bewildered and baffled… ..
    Siri was 1st…. but it is the weakest of them all now… and for Apple to have allowed this to happen its nothing short of massive mismanagement or misjudgment …
    or worse….. Maybe Apple is not as capable as most of us think… the thought of which truly scares me.

    Go ahead you all and line up to shoot me … its ok…. but at the end if the day…. whats your explanation/excuse for SIRI’s sad state of being last in the lineup.

    1. If, by not restricting the amount of private information available to these voice assistants, is a measure of strength…then yes, Siri is the weakest. It’s hobbled by Apple’s deliberate policy of ‘not’ allowing unbounded access to user info…which is not something you can accuse either Google or Amazon.
      For which I for one, am grateful.

  4. “Now, however, Amazon has snuck Alexa onto iOS — making this look more and more like a blowout.”

    “Snuck”? “SNUCK”? And we’re supposed to lend credence to this illiterate, someone who cannot even use the tools of his trade correctly?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.