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Voice commands coming to Amazon's Alexa app for iPhone & iPad

People wanting to make use of Amazon's Alexa voice assistant will soon be able to talk to it through the company's iOS app, instead of depending on an Echo speaker or other compatible device.

The functionality is currently available in an updated Android app, but iPhone and iPad support is merely on the way, TechCrunch said on Friday. It's not clear what kind of delay might be involved — it can sometimes take several days for Apple's App Store reviewers to grant approval.

The Android app doesn't support wake-word functionality at the moment. The iOS version will only ever support wake words in-app, if at all, since only Siri is allowed to operate as a system-wide assistant.

Amazon received a big boost this holiday season with strong sales of Echo speakers, especially the Echo Dot. This was evidenced by the Alexa app topping App Store charts for the first time ever.

Normally the Alexa iOS app is meant for setting up and configuring an Echo, though it can also be used to make calls to other users, including "dropping in" on compatible speakers.