LexiiPhone users stuck with Siri might perhaps have been feeling envious of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, and its slew of linked services – including audiobooks. Well, there’s an app for that. Bluetoo Ventures is offering you their Lexi app on the iTunes Store for $4.99. “Lexi is a smart personal assistant powered by Alexa Voice Service,” according to the blurb. “Lexi listens as you ask questions by speaking, and then replies through the speaker or headphones connected to your iPhone or iPod touch.”

What Lexi won’t do, alas, at least for now, is “play audiobooks and other premium audio programming from Audible and Kindle Unlimited,” like stock Alexa can. Whether that option will come later, I guess we’ll have to see. But for other Alexa services, like looking up stuff online or operating smart devices, it apparently works just fine – though since I haven’t smart devices or an iPhone, I’ll have to take this on trust. It may be worth experimenting to see if you can use the other “ways to listen to music and media on Alexa” for playing your “personal music collection from iTunes, Google Play Music, and more” via Lexi, to access your favorite audiobooks.

Of course, a lot of the appeal of Lexi is price. The Amazon Echo costs $179.99, and its little kindred the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot cost $129.99 and $89.99 respectively. With Lexi, you’re getting much of what they offer over and above other speakers for just $4.99. I doubt Amazon will lose too much sleep over the lost sales, though. The Echo continues to be a runaway hit. Each Lexi download grows the Alexa ecosystem, and with Alexa Voice Service open to developers, there are bound to be more Alexa-enabled products out there soon. And Apple and Siri, meanwhile? Knock yourself out, Cupertino, and beat it if you can …


  1. The absolute last thing I want to add to my iPhone is a voice-driven way to order stuff from Amazon. Ordering needs some checks that keep it from being too easy.

    I’m awaiting with dread a news story in which little four-year-old Tami, imitating what her mom did a few minutes earlier, orders 1,000 boxes of Tide detergent or whatever.

    Or pushes that little Amazon button thing and does much the same.

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