Amazon announced Thursday (March 16) that Alexa, its virtual digital assistant, is getting embedded into the Amazon app.
On the company’s website, Amazon said Alexa will work on Amazon’s iOS app to ask questions, do shopping, play music and perform a host of other tasks. According to Amazon, with the updated app, users can tell Alexa things like “search for paper towels,” “reorder batteries,” “track my last order” or “find bestselling camera, and Alexa will deliver on all the requests. In addition to making shopping easier, Amazon said Alexa in the Amazon app can respond to commands including “play some music,” “play the Beatles,” “play dance music” and “play my Kindle book.” Alexa can also answer basic questions, such as “When is Memorial Day?” as well as give users updates on news, weather and traffic.
The move to integrate Alexa into the Amazon app comes at a time when the number of skills being made for Alexa is exploding. Last month Amazon’s voice-activated AI assistant hit a new skill milestone: 10,000. The 10,000th skill was reportedly approved on the night of Feb. 22, according to Wired. It’s a game called “Beat the Intro,” which had already been seen on the App Store and Google Play. That night, the “name that tune”-style game was given the Alexa treatment, adding voice functionality to the user experience. Consumers have largely been drawn to a small segment of use cases: News, games and trivia, reference, lifestyle, and weather skills comprise the majority share. VoiceLabs research found that only 31 percent of Alexa’s skills have more than one consumer review, indicating low consumer interest and use.