Amazon has released a native iOS app for Amazon Echo, the company’s intelligent, talking home speaker/virtual assistant. The companion app had previously been available only for Android, requiring Amazon Echo users with iPhone or iPad to use the Safari browser on their devices to manage settings, music, lists and other items related to the Amazon Echo. The lack of native support for iOS was one of the factors leading to a less-than-stellar review for the Echo on CNET, although early users of the Echo quickly came to its defense.
I recently reviewed the Echo, Amazon’s new voice-activated, cloud-connected wireless speaker. As part of the review I noted that the Echo had launched with Android and Fire OS apps and that no iOS app was available. Well, that’s not the case anymore, as an iOS Echo app has made its way into the App Store and is now available for download for free. While you could always set up the speaker through a browser on an iPad or iPhone, the app is a good addition and arguably improves the Echo experience. I tested it briefly, setting up the speaker on a new Wi-Fi network through the app (on an iPhone), and it worked fine — just like its Kindle iOS and Android counterparts. The speaker itself is still being sold in very limited quantities. The Echo carries a list price of $199, but select Amazon Prime members will have a chance to buy it for $99 in its launch phase, which may go on for a few months. (There’s no word as to when or if it’ll be available internationally, but that price converts roughly to £125 in the UK, or a little over AU$230 in Australia).