Add Alexa to your iPhone or iPad home screen and forget you even knew Siri

You speak to Alexa on your Amazon Echo gadgets, and now the digital assistant is just one faucet away on your iPhone or iPad thanks to Amazon’s new Alexa iOS widget.

Dale Smith/CNET

Siri is ok and all, however would not you relatively have Alexa on your iPhone? I’d. Now we will, form of, since Amazon up to date the iOS Alexa app with a home screen widget that, sure, works on iPad too. Once you set it up, you can transfer a giant Alexa icon wherever on your home screen and one faucet brings up the assistant you’d relatively be speaking to, if you’re trustworthy.

It’s no massive secret — almost each sensible home system on the planet works with Alexa — however for Siri and HomePackage, your choices are extra restricted. Not to point out, Siri typically will get choked up and stops responding to primary requests (at the least, it does on my iPhone). I’ve all however given up on Siri, and you might have as effectively.

Alexa, then again, is almost at all times out there, correct and downright pleasant. And now Amazon’s voice assistant even has a new name and voice option. If you love having Alexa set timers and reminders, activate lights and reply questions when you’re at home, wait’ll you begin speaking to Alexa on your iPhone when you’re out and about.

I’ll clarify shortly how to arrange the Alexa iOS widget and use it to take Siri’s place on your iPhone or iPad. But first, a phrase of warning.


Siri is ok and all, however would not you relatively speak to Alexa?

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Alexa cannot completely exchange Siri, however who cares?

There are some features solely Siri can carry out: altering your iPhone’s screen brightness, turning on don’t disturb, and many others. Basically, something that adjustments the settings on your iPhone or iPad itself is off-limits for a third-party assistant.

However, there’s much more that Alexa can do and Siri cannot — particularly if you’ve not paid any consideration to whether or not a sensible home system you purchased is HomePackage suitable. My home is positively affected by sensible plugs and doorbell cameras and all types of gadgets Siri cannot speak to — however Alexa can.

In the top, it does not matter, since you’re not changing Siri with Alexa. In reality, if you’ve already received the Alexa app (and you most likely do), you’re not even including Alexa to your iPhone — it is proper there within the app. All including an Alexa widget to your home screen does, actually, is put Alexa only one quick faucet away — however that is sufficient to make including the Alexa widget to your iOS home screen worthwhile.

Amazon Alexa

Alexa cannot change settings on your iPhone itself, however Amazon’s voice assistant can do nearly every little thing else.


How to add the Alexa widget to your iOS home screen

Widgets debuted with iOS 14 final 12 months, but when you’ve by no means used them, all I can say is, watch out. They have a tendency to decimate the association of your home screen if you’re not cautious with how you transfer them round.

This is mainly a two-part course of. First, create the widget, then transfer it to the place you need it on your home screen. If you’re completely pleased leaving it off to the aspect with all the opposite widgets, you haven’t got to do the second half.

Alexa iOS Widget

You can both go away the Alexa widget off to the aspect with the others or transfer it instantly onto your iPhone home screen.

Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

1. On your iPhone or iPad swipe left previous the primary web page of your home screen, then press and maintain one of many widgets till a menu pops up. Tap Edit Home Screen.

2. Tap the + within the higher left nook and both scroll till you see Amazon Alexa or sort Alexa within the search field, then faucet Amazon Alexa.

3. Tap Add Widget on the backside of the screen (there’s just one choice for dimension).

That’s the primary half. If you’re proud of the Alexa widget the place it’s, faucet Done within the higher proper nook. If not, whereas the widgets are nonetheless wiggling, faucet and maintain the Alexa widget till it “picks up,” then drag it out onto your home screen and drop it the place you need it to stay, then faucet Done.

Again, a phrase of warning: Moving the widget might rearrange your home screen icons, so you’ll have to return and clear up the mess when you’re performed.

That’s it! Now you can faucet the Alexa widget, and your Alexa app will open — with Alexa already listening for a command. 

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