Siri competitor Alexa has come to the world’s most popular smartphone via an incoming update for Amazon’s shopping app for iPhone and iPad. The release marks the first time Amazon’s personal assistant has supported non-Alexa hardware.

Just tap the mic in the app’s search bar to ask Alexa questions, get weather updates, shop and search items, order and track products, play music, use Alexa Skills and Smart Home features, and much more.

By sneaking Alexa into its iPhone app, Amazon’s made it possible for Apple customers to experience its Siri rival in full glory without needing to buy an Echo speaker.

Alexa in the Amazon app can be asked to reorder items, track packages, search Amazon.com, buy products on your behalf and more. You can even use your voice to get news, weather and traffic information, open Kindle books, play songs from Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music or those you’ve purchased and more.

The app includes an overhauled media player for books and music.

Alexa Skills and Smart Home

Crucially, Alexa in the Amazon app supports Alexa Skills and Smart Home features.

Configurable through the companion Alexa app or at alexa.amazon.com, Alexa Skills are voice-driven capabilities that enhance the functionality of Alexa-enabled devices.

You can use more than 10,000 skills in the iPhone app.

VentureBeat says most Alexa-compatible devices for the connected home are configurable via the app, but the Door Lock API for unlocking smart door locks won’t be supported at launch.

POLL: do you own any HomeKit products?

Other than that, you can control a wide range of Alexa smart home products with Amazon’s updated iPhone app. According to the company, tens of thousands of developers are building skills for Alexa.

Yesterday, Amazon made it free for developers to build and host most skills using Amazon Web Services. Under the new program, app makers are offered AWS promotional credits to put toward their Alexa skill.

For more information, visit Alexa Skills Guide.

Here’s a description of the app’s other features, from Amazon’s website.

Shop with Alexa

You can say things like:

  • “Search for paper towels”
  • “Reorder batteries”
  • “Track my last order”
  • “Add shampoo to my cart”
  • “Best-selling camera”

Listen to music and play Kindle books

Alexa can stream books from your Kindle library or music from Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Music or purchased music. Amazon Prime members can stream playlists, stations and over two million songs for free.

You can say things like:

  • “Play some music”
  • “Play the Beatles”
  • “Play dance music”
  • “Play my Kindle book”

When you ask Alexa to play media, player controls will appear on the screen.

The audio will continue to play after you’ve dismissed the visual.

Ask Alexa a question

Alexa can answer a variety of questions about people, geography, dates, music, sports and more. She also can spell, define words, complete conversions, make simple calculations and—why not?—tell jokes.

You can say things like:

  • “When is Memorial Day”
  • “What is anthropology”
  • “Tell me a joke“
  • “Who is Abraham Lincoln”

For more information, visit Ask Alexa.

Check news, weather and traffic

Alexa can give you updates on the news, weather and traffic.

To check weather, add your address to the Alexa app. To check traffic, set your starting point and destination in the Alexa app.

You can say things like:

  • “What’s new”
  • “What’s my flash briefing”
  • “What’s the weather in Boston today”
  • “How is traffic”

For more information, visit Alexa News, Weather & Traffic.

Learn more about the app’s features on the Amazon website.

The refreshed Amazon app is a staggered release, with only a small percentage of users getting the update starting today. It will be available to all iPhone users next week. Let us know if the app is live for you and, if so, share your impressions in the comments.

Amazon for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch is available free on App Store.

  • iBanks

    So in other words… The app won’t be available much longer since they had to be “sneaky” by putting it into the app or did they simply just add the feature without having to be “sneaky” about it? I think they just added the feature.

    • It’s debatable…

      • James G

        I don’t think whether or not they were sneaky was debatable. They just added the feature to put Alexa in more people’s hands and pockets. Many more.

  • :D

    Really smart move putting it into the Amazon shopping app lol

  • n0ahcruz3

    RIP siri.. too bad they neglected you, while tim cook was busy removing ports and putting Pro on everything, Amazon is slowy putting up an ecosystem with Alexa. Lol just kidding Siri’s fine

    • Diego Milano

      HAHAHA! This made me laugh! xD

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    I wonder if Alexa will respond to being asked about the connection to the CIA in this version.

  • I disagree. If you ask someone in India if they know what an iPhone is, they will likely say they do, even though they may not own one. Ask them the same question about a dozen random Android devices, and they probably won’t know what you are talking about.

    The iPhone is one product that is usually compared to hundreds if not thousands of Android options available. iPhone is also the top selling smartphone, outselling the Galaxy, which is of course the #2 most popular smartphone.

    You can’t measure the popularity of a product only by its market share.

    With this logic, nothing would be popular. If the latest Xmen movie sold 30,000,000 tickets on day one, you can’t say it’s not popular because the next 20 movies that came out that same day sold a combined amount of 50,000,000 tickets.

    Beyonce is not the most popular female artist in the world because Rihanna and Taylor Swift combined sold more albums than her? That is such a flawed way of seeing things.

    I think that saying the iPhone is not the most popular smartphone shows a big misunderstanding of the phone market, or maybe it shows you have so much disdain for Apple that you can’t admit the obvious.

  • Smeltn

    so mine is not working… I ask it those questions like whats the weather, tell me a joke, etc and it does a search on Amazon for those items.. Weather which pulls up apps and books and such.. Joke books, etc..

    What gives?

  • Icisz

    Wow so your on the level of coming here to throwing hatered at the writers of an Apple centric blog for stating something that even most droid fanboys can admit is common knowledge. You should really make your account private. Letting people see the sum of your salty existence is at best amusing and at worst points to you being the same (albeit opposing branding) as the very thing you speak out against. For the life of me I’ll never understand what compels people like you to visit an Apple forum to spout this kind crap instead of enjoying what you like. Unless it’s not living up to your “expectations”.
    Cheer up Man the universe is just fine without you at the center of it.