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Amazon now lets you text Alexa on iOS to ask for things instead of only using your voice

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Type with Alexa is available now as a ‘public preview’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon is testing a new feature for its iOS Alexa app: the ability to type out Alexa commands, instead of having to ask questions or requests by speaking out loud.

“Type with Alexa is a Public Preview feature available to iOS Alexa app customers allowing you to interact with Alexa without using voice, meaning everything you can currently say to Alexa can now also be typed using your Alexa mobile app. Type with Alexa is available to iOS customers in the U.S.,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

The new feature — first spotted by The Ambient — is available for iOS users in the Alexa app. To access it, simply tap the keyboard icon that now appears on the top left of the main menu of the app. The typed-out commands should work identically to verbal ones, although Amazon notes that it’s still a public preview, and Alexa is “still getting the hang of it.” In other words, there might be a bug or two.

Being able to type out your requests to a digital assistant isn’t a new idea (both Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri have offered it for years), but it’s good to see that Amazon is working to offer a similar option for Alexa.

For now, Type with Alexa is available in public preview for iOS users. Amazon has yet to say when it’ll be releasing a final version of the feature or when it will be available on other platforms like Android.