Amazon Alexa

Last modified
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Category

Description of App

ALWAYS READY, CONNECTED, AND FAST. Just ask. The free Amazon Alexa App is a companion to your Alexa device for setup, remote control, and enhanced features. Alexa is always ready to play your favorite music, provide weather and news updates, answer questions, create lists, and much more. Alexa's brain is in the cloud, so she continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Alexa, the more she adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. HOW IT WORKS Interactions with Alexa are automatically mirrored visually on your Amazon Alexa App, providing more information as you want it. The Amazon Alexa App lets you easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more -- wherever you are. FAST WI-FI and EASY SET UP Connect to your home's Wi-Fi network using the free Amazon Alexa App, with its simple guided setup. Now you can stream all of your music, listen to radio stations, and have access to news and information, all by voice -- or with the Amazon Alexa App's intuitive interface.

Version

2.2.250839.0

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone
iPod Touch

iOS Version

12.1.2

Accessibility Comments

The app is very accessible, and quite easy to use.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads most page elements.

Button Labeling

Most buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

There are some accessibility issues with this app, but it can still be used if you are willing to tolerate these issues and learn how to work around them.

Other Comments

Works well, you can successfully use the app to control your Alexa devices and settings.

Developer's Twitter Username

@amazonecho

Recommendations

2 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by gallagher123123 1 year 8 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Sounds2Good on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Generally the Alexa app is accessible with the iPhone using VO, but some features are difficult or impossible to use. I cannot manipulate the volume control, and playback controls in the app's mini-platter that appears on the bottom of the iPhone screen when playing music or streaming content. This is not a major problem as long as one can speak to the Echo and successfully direct it to change the volume, pause or skip playback. Other features are also difficult; the new feature to allow one to change the order of news streams in the "Flash Briefing" feature appears not to work at all when using VoiceOver. The "button" that allows dragging items in the flash briefing up and down to change their order is not visible to VO.

The Alexa app needs work to make it easier for everyone to use, it could use a search feature to find items in long lists, such as one's Audible book titles or music tracks.
Still the Amazon Echo is a cool device and the iPhone app is usable if not fully accessible.

Submitted by Carla on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hello,

I have been trying to enter my commute in the Traffic portion of the Settings in the Alexa App, and evidently I'm doing something wrong. Even though I fill in the correct addresses, it inserts other addresses instead of the one I want. Also, I'm not sure how to replace the incorrect addresses. When I double tap the change address button, nothing happens. Nothing happens when I double tap the from and to buttons either. Can anyone explain what I need to do to get this data into the app?

Thanks,

Submitted by Jen on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I am using iOS10 and the app is so sluggish with VoiceOver that it's difficult to set up my Echo Dot, or add any new skills. I just wondered if anyone else is having this problem. Otherwise, it appears to be accessible.

Submitted by Hubert on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Yes, this app is most definitely slow with VoiceOver, and I've experienced a few issues. I'd encourage anyone that uses the app to contact Amazon about the app's accessibility, a device like Amazon echo opens up so many opportunities, if the app is fully accessible and fully usable, then we can do a lot more. I've got the Amazon echo dot, got it on Sunday, and so far, it has opened up a lot of possible opportunities, I do recommend trying the magic door skill, plenty of fun if you like adventure games.

Submitted by Orko on Friday, March 3, 2017

No, I don't mean that the Amazon Echo is incredible, what I mean is that I find it incredible that for such a neat device as the Echos are, that Amazon would drop a turd on them by saddling them with such a piece of crap app.

Frequently buttons and links don't respond unless you double tap somewhere else first or exit the app with the app chooser then rerun it. The app has a 2.0 rating in the app store and the 1 start rating gets more votes than any other rating, and then there are the reviews, lots of crashing and just plain not working.

I recommend that every Alexa enabled device owner send feedback to Amazon about just how bad their app is. That's the only way Amazon will ever listen to us customers.

Submitted by bonerobot on Thursday, February 23, 2017

In reply to by Orko

Hi guys,

I'm new here and i'm really sorry for my english but I'll try my best. I'm fully blind and I got my Echo at the beginning of February this year. I wait three months for a invitation because here in Germany Echo wasn't already avaible. I got my Echo and I feel so lucky. I packed it out and try to conect my new Echo with my WI-FI. The conecting and tutorial was fully accessible with Voiceover. But after that I saw the main menue and I was a little bit disapointet of Amazon. The handling with the Alexa-App which you need to control your Echo is sometimes crazy. Yes, it's posible to handle the App but it's sometimes strange. If you click on the backbutton for example nothing happen. Also the Skillstore is extrem diffecult to navigate there. You must to click two or three times until you see a description of a Skill. At first I was thought about to send the Echo back, but exept for the crazy app-handling nothing else was bad. I'm have maybe two or three long conversations with Amazon emploeyers and they prommised me that sent my feedback to the developer team of alexa.
I'll gave them so much feedback which I could.
So now my important calling on you guys: Please use all contact media what you have. For example write your Amazon customer service a little mail. Write them on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/amazonecho?lang=en
Call them on customer service phone. Use the feedbackpart in your Alexa-App if you find it with voiceover. And at least write a valuation at your local Appstore.
Note: Please use this ways only one time and tell the Amazon Echo team that the Alexa-App needs improvements concerning voiceover and accessibility. Let's give us blind and visual impaird people a voice and let Amazon know And we know that needs changes for us blind users. It's not unimposible. All Amazon-Apps are fully accessible with Voiceover. For example the Prime-Video-App is one of the accessible apps which i know. Let's make Alexa fully accessible for us voiceover users.
If you have any questions feel fre to ask.
thanks

Submitted by Orko on Friday, March 3, 2017

After fussing around with the Alexa app trying to get it to work well enough and long enough to set up everything I wanted to set up, sometimes eventually succeeding, most of the time not getting anywhere but thoroughly frustrated. I finally gave up and sent it back as defective by design.

I suspect that since Amazon is mostly Android flavored, because they use it on all their Fire tablets, that they don't care if the iOS version of the Alexa app is crap, because the Android version probably actually works. And I don't see why I should have to buy an Android device just to run the Alexa app.

Submitted by bonerobot on Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hi guys,
today i wrote on Twitter with a big programmer which works in the development appartment from Alexa voiceservice and Alexa app. I told him that the Alexa app is accessible but the're also some issues that blind users which uses VO have problems with it. He told me that he's glad to her feedback and asked me could blind users switch to Android, because he heart Talkbakc is also accessible and maybe it would be easier to develop something.
God thanks I could convice him that would be a bad idea. I told him that the expirience from many blind smartphone users with Android are horrible. Many of my friends wants to give Android a chance and bought a Samsung or a HTC phone. After some months they're switched to IOS. He thanks for the feedback and promissed me
that he will give
all
thinks which I
told him his colleges on Monday. He also told me that we don't get worries all issues will be fixed if it's possible.

Submitted by Orko on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I doubt it will help. Amazon is just like other big companies like Apple and Microsoft, the only way to truly get their attention and get them to actually fix the problem is if somebody sues them and that isn't very likely.

Amazon wants you to buy one of their Fire tablets to run the Alexa app, so as long as it works properly on their tablets, that's all they will be willing to do unless forced by a lawsuit.

One other possibility that might move Amazon is that Google Home appears to be catching up to and will probably surpass the Amazon Echo family soon. Maybe when that happens, Amazon might fix the iOS version of the Alexa app as a step to stay competitive with Google Home.

Time will tell.

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hi everyone. I recently obtained this app from the iTunes store, but the app website states that it works on the Mac too. I haven't been able to get the app to actually install on mine though. So I contacted Amazon tech support via email. Their form is completely accessible with VoiceOver, and I received a prompt reply from them indicating that they had received my inquiry. However, the person indicated that since I didn't purchase email service or something I would have to input my phone number and they'd call me to resolve the issue. So I guess I have 2 questions. First, is there a way to tell with VO whether something on Amazon is free or paid? Second, how should I go about installing Reverb?

Submitted by bonerobot on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hi guys,

yesterday Amazon released an update of the Alexa app. Well, many things have been improved. All labels are now labled and the skillsstore get 100% more accessible with VO and many issues have been fixed.
Thanks to all that has give feedback to Amazon

Submitted by Orko on Friday, June 9, 2017

Maybe they updated the Alexa app and maybe they improved some things, but you sure couldn't tell by the ratings the app gets in Apple's app store. Back in March when I tried the Echo, the app had a 2 out of 5 star rating. I really liked the Echo so today I decided to see if the app's rating had changed any, it did, it now has a 1.5 out of 5 star rating with something like 76% of the ratings being only 1 star. Too bad, but I'll keep watching and hoping.

Submitted by dan on Sunday, July 16, 2017

So, most things seem to be accessible with the app, however, the biggest thing that I can't get to work is installing skills from the main screen. If I go to addd skills and look at the recommended skills I can see them but nothing happens when I double-tap on the particular skill. However, if I then go search for that skill and find it I can then double-tap on it and install it that way. Is that the only work-around for installing skills? Or am I doing something wrong?

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I actually got to sample this a bit a few weekends ago, when my father and I were in Southern Illinois with family. A cousin's girlfriend, who is fully sighted, was showing me her Echo and it was pretty cool. Amazon Alexa was pretty responsive on there, and the sound quality seems very good. I think I've found where on Amazon's site to get help with the Mac version of this, so I'm going to try that out. Update: I just called Amazon's accessibility support line and was told that in order for the Mac app to work, I need an Echo. This is different from the information I got elsewhere. Having said that though, I am very pleased with the phone support I got this morning.

Submitted by Dave on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The last couple of releases of the App have been extremely laggey, not only for VO users, but also for sighted users. It has almost got to the point of being unusable for me. Also still issues with some of the functions such as marking items completed in lists.
Anybody else having similar issues?

Submitted by Craig Werner on Thursday, May 17, 2018

Yes, the app is far from perfect in terms of VoiceOver implementation. I have tried often unsuccessfully to figure out how to cancel a reminder. I can hear all reminders but can't find a way to cancel individual ones. When I attempted to email Customer Support from the "Help and Feedback" menu, the app crashed when I tried to navigate the picker to select the proper category and issue under which to file the report.

Craig

Submitted by peter on Thursday, May 17, 2018

One can configure your Alexa-connected devices either through the iOS app or using a web browser and going to www.alexa.amazon.com. Neither way is perfecft using VO or a screen reader - Some things seem to work easier in the app while others seem to work better through a web browser.

I also find that sometimes buttons or links seem to be unresponsive. Double tapping to activate and item does nothing. To fix this, I find that turning VO off and then on again fixes the problem. I don't know why this is, nor can I reproduce the problem, so its hard to file a bug with Amazon. But this seems to happen in the app quite a bit.

That being said, between the app and the browser methods of configuring Alexa and Alexa Skills, it seems like it is possible to perform most tasks.

BTW, I don't think it is possible to delete an item from a list simply by using voice commands. One has to go into the Alexa configuration through the app or web browser in order to delete items. Maybe Amazon will make it possible to delete items from a list using voice commands some day, but it definitely can't be done that way now. Can't imagine why not, but thats the way it is.

--Pete

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, May 18, 2018

so probably a really obvious question but I haven't been able to work this out from the description, is this app a companion to the alexa hardware? or is it a software version of alexa that can do everything the hardware on the echo can do, or is it really only intended for use in conjunction with an echo.

Submitted by peter on Friday, May 18, 2018

The Alexa app is mostly for configuring Amazon devices that use Alexa. although some configurations can be done through voice commands, many must be made through the app or through the web interface www.alexa.amazon.com.

I believe the app can also do some of the things that an echo device can do, but not sure.

--Pete

Submitted by gallagher123123 on Friday, May 18, 2018

Hi All,
Very strange, I feel that the app has gotten much better since I created this entry. Maybe that's just my opinion, but it's not as painful anymore.

Submitted by Use Small Words on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I recently downloaded the Alexa app but I’m unable to use voice control feature as it keeps saying I’m having trouble understanding please try again a bit later. I’ve given permission for Alexa to use my microphone and location, I’ve also tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app several times and the same thing happens. I’m connected to Wi-Fi, using the latest version of iOS on an iPhone 8. Can anybody help me please?

thank you in advance.

Submitted by privatetai on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Seems like when I hit the ask alexa button, it's hearing me and the iphone's own voiceover- making alexa go "Hmmm, I'm not sure" 9 out of 10 times. The only way I can use that button successfully is to get to it, turn speech off, then double tap and hoping I'm still on the button.
Does anyone have a better solution to this?

Submitted by Andy Lane on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

There is a perfect solution. All we need to do is get Amazon to finally take accessibility seriously and update each and every one of their apps to work fully and completely with the iPhones accessibility API’s. Sadly though I don’t think this is going to happen in a big hurry, they seem far too interested in avoiding tax, under paying their employees and generally treating them as modern day slaves. Apologies for the sarcasm but what I am trying to say is Amazon will only fix these issues when it becomes public ally embarrassing to leave them broken. They have just raised their minimum wage to $15 in the US after an outcry so maybe now would be a good time to expose their disinterest in accessibility, while they are aware the public eye is upon them and they are trying to take less P.R. Hits.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Becoming Less AccessibleSadly, the past few versions has made using VoiceOver harder to use and, in some instances, doesn't work. For example, trying to manage your skills is not possible any more.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I just got an Amazon Echo for my birthday, and we set it up today. I've found the companion iOS app to work well with VoiceOver for the most part. However, I just tried selecting a feedback category and some if not most of the selections in both pop-up menus don't work right. But regarding the Echo itself, I'm super impressed. I'm wondering if most or all of these settings and other things in the iOS app can be controlled by voice? Oddly enough, the email account I registered with Amazon was suspended or something. It's the email account for my most recent job, and I left that job mainly due to not being given enough responsibilities.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ok now I wonder how many folks reading this page with Voiceover were caught out by that subject line and how many echos there are out there saying something along the lines of: 'sorry, I don't know that one!'

So first off @ekaj just a piece of advice: never use a work email account for something not related to work, except if you have to occasionally. So stuff like Amazon Echo should be off the table. it may be contrary to the IT policy in some workplaces, and depending on where you are your work emails will attract all sortts of legislative consequences your personal ones won't.

Back to the plot, I've noticed that certain parts of the app can be a bit clunky. I've always thought this up to a point. the effect of updates seems to be to change the bits of the app that cause difficulty.

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, January 28, 2019

I noticed something earlier today when I was playing around with my Echo. It appears that several accessibility enhancements have been made to the companion iOS app. I'm kinda surprised I didn't get a notification about this update, but perhaps it was done in the cloud without my knowing. But in any case, I was able to change some settings with no problem. These devices are really sweet. The language can even be changed on mine for instance, which I found out on Friday when one of my tutors was here. Those of you who haven't done this should be aware that you will get a message about some features and/or skills not being available in your country if her language/dialect is changed.

Submitted by HarmonicaPlayer on Monday, January 28, 2019

what sucks for me is when i go into settings, alexa account, pick my echo device that shows online and when i go to voice profiles or recognized voices app always says oops something went wrong need help with voice profiles this is frustrating
i use an iPod touch and was able to get to the voice training part a long time ago unless they changed stuff so now you have to use an iPhone mainly for configuring to successfully work.