New third-party software will allow users to turn off Siri on an Apple Watch and use Alexa instead. According to Cult of Mac, the app, Voice in a Can, was developed by Atadore. It is available on iTunes for $1.99.
The app will also work on iPhone and iPad, although Alexa won’t do everything it does on the Amazon Echo. In addition, the Alexa app does not support all content, including audiobooks, music, podcasts and “some flash briefings.” Something else to keep in mind: When using the app, Alexa won’t be on standby like Siri. Instead, the watch disconnects from Alexa when the screen goes blank. To keep this from happening, Atadore recommends increasing the app timeout on the watch.
As one reviewer on Voice in a Can’s App Store preview page said, “It’s great to have Alexa available to do things Siri can’t. If we could get the Google Assistant, then we would have the Holy Trinity.”
Siri, until recently, was strictly for mobile, while Alexa mostly for in-home assistance on the Amazon Echo devices. Last year, Amazon added Alexa to its iOS shopping app.
To activate Voice in a Can on the Apple Watch, consumers must hit the Install button, then Under My Watch next to the app name in Available Apps. Once it is installed, the user will need to authenticate it and follow the on-screen directions. And to bring Voice in a Can to iPhone or iPad, users will need to use their Amazon login to authenticate. Once in, they can follow the instructions on screen, hit ready and ask Alexa questions.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Apple Watch had been driving the wearables market — the company saw sales jump 60 percent in 2017, with 16 million units shipped. And a report by CCS Insight predicted that worldwide wearables sales are forecast to grow an average of 20 percent annually during the course of the next five years, hitting $29 billion by 2022.