Alexa is now in the Amazon shopping app in iOS

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Global ecommerce and cloud company, Amazon, has announced that its Artificial Intelligence powered voice assistant Alexa will be integrated into the Amazon shopping app for Apple iOS.

The downside to the app-centric approach, however, is that you will have to open the Amazon app each time you want to access Alexa.

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.

The updated Amazon app is rolling out this week, with U.S. customers getting the first experience, however the upgrade only appears to be on iOS devices for now.

It's not a direct challenge to Apple's own Siri system that you can activate immediately using your voice across the panoply of Apple devices. In doing so, however, Alexa is on a collision course with Apple's chatty iPhone companion, Siri.

According to several media reports this move will eventually help boost the ecommerce giant's business as there has been an increasing number of tech enthusiasts filling their homes with Alexa enabled devices. Examples of Alexa skills include the ability to play music, answer general questions, set an alarm or timer and more.

As of today, iPhone users can simply update their Amazon app for iOS and they are ready to use Alexa.

However, Alexa may truly challenge Siri when it comes to smart home controls. You can then ask the assistant nearly anything you'd normally ask Alexa via an Amazon Echo device, including asking her to make purchases for you, look up facts, or control smart home products. These integration range from controlling a bunch of smart-home devices to ordering food delivery from Grubhub.

From there, Alexa will read you your selected news briefings or read the last book you were reading on the Kindle app. But those apps didn't have all of Alexa's features like Amazon's music streaming service. Word has it that the new feature is now available only in the U.S. market but it is not known how soon it will arrive in the UK.

"Developers already know that building for Alexa is free using AWS Free Tier with AWS Lambda, but what they can't plan for is how successful their skill will be", says Ryan Kroonenburg, a UK-based solutions architect and the founder of A Cloud Guru.

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