Amazon has updated its Alexa app for iOS to add a much-awaited voice control feature that will let you use voice commands to give commands to the smart assistant. With the latest update, the Alexa iOS app will finally support voice control, so that users can interact with Amazon Echo devices and other smart home products using an iPhone or iPad by issuing spoken commands. The feature has been in the pipeline for a long time now, as Alexa on iOS was launched way back in March 2017. Notably, Android users got voice control in the Alexa app back in January this year.
Now, iPhone and iPad users will be able to ask Amazon Alexa for music playback, smart home controls, web queries, and other compatible Alexa skills, with the tap of a button from within the app on iOS. However, unlike on Android, where users can set Alexa as the default voice assistant since May 2018, Apple's OS is more locked down as usual. This essentially means that you will not be able to use Amazon Alexa as a replacement for Apple's Siri. Apple's voice assistant will also be able to get more tasks done on the iOS device, and upcoming iOS 12 features for Siri like Shortcuts will only serve to widen that gap in capabilities.
Adding voice control to the Alexa app on iOS is part of Amazon's aim of making its virtual assistant available in most devices. Alexa has been added to the Echo Show and Echo Spot as well as PCs from companies like Acer and HP. But, on iOS, every single time, you will be needed to open the Alexa app and tap the button to activate the software to use it, instead of being able to simply say the 'Alexa' trigger word.
To access the new voice control feature in the Amazon Alexa app, you need to download the latest version (2.2.216514.0) from the Apple App Store. The changelog in the App Store reads as, "Tap the Alexa button and use your voice to ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, check weather, and more." Notably, the update also brings various bug fixes and performance improvements.