Amazon has brought Apple Music to Alexa smart speakers for the first time in the UK.

    The feature was already available in the US but is slowly rolling out across the world.

    It means that people are no longer limited to only Amazon Music and Spotify as ways for Alexa to play music. Apple Music will work like those same services, allowing people to ask for a song or radio station and have it play from Apple Music.

    The decision to allow Alexa to access Apple Music marks a major change in strategy from Apple, which once fiercely protected the fact that generally, only its own products could access its online services. In recent times, however, the company has become more open as it has focused on generating service revenue as a new strategy.

    Apple does make its own smart speaker, the HomePod, which is built to work with Apple Music.

    Enabling the skill is simple: open up the Alexa app, click to bring up the extra menu and press the skills option. If the Apple Music skill doesn’t show up straight away – at the time of publication, it has taken over the skills page, though that is likely to change – then you can search for it.

    It will then ask you to log in with your Apple ID, confirm that you want Alexa to be able to talk to Apple Music, and then the two will be paired up. From the music options, you can choose to make Apple Music the default streaming service, though you can also send your request with “on Apple Music” to do so manually.

    (In testing by The Independent, the authentication failed the first time. But trying again made the two services link up.)

    Though it has been available on other platforms such as Android, and even other smart speakers like Sonos systems, the tie-up with Alexa makes it the first time that Apple Music songs can be requested using a voice assistant that isn’t Siri.

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