Although Apple has its own HomeKit system that we can use through Siri or an Apple HomePod Mini, the truth is that many users prefer to automate their homes with Amazon equipment because they are much more complete and affordable. Alexa has become a benchmark within the connected home, and we are increasingly delegating more tasks and automating more services through this assistant. The integration of Alexa on Android is very good, but iOS users are sometimes unaware that there is also a good implementation of the assistant on the iPhone . For the same reason, in this post we are going to explain how you can get the most out of Alexa on your iPhone or iPad .
Alexa on iPhone just a tap away
Until now, the only official way to get Alexa on iPhone was by installing the official app and having it open with the phone unlocked. Well, now thanks to the latest update to the official app, For years, the only way we had to use Alexa voice commands on our iOS devices was by manually opening the app from our app menu and activating listening by tapping on it. Alexa icon. The process was quite cumbersome, as it required unlocking the phone and accessing the app. As you already know, the ideal when we talk about voice assistants is to send commands without having to touch anything. In fact, the ideal is that the iPhone could listen to us regardless of the fact that we do not know in which corner of the room the mobile is located.
Well, thankfully, Alexa has been updated on iOS , and now you can do all of this more easily on your iPhone or iPad. We will still not be able to activate the assistant with the mobile phone locked —this function is left to Siri exclusively—, but we will have the opportunity to place a widget directly on the home screen so that with a simple click we can invoke Alexa without any additional action .
It is therefore the fastest and most direct method with which to have Alexa services on the iPhone or iPad, since voice activation will continue to be a function that only Siri can have, which is for something the personal assistant of Manzana. With the Amazon Alexa app updated to the latest version, you will only need a device with iOS 14 or higher to be able to add the widget.
Alexa can’t 100% replace Siri, but it doesn’t matter
There are some functions that only Siri can perform , such as changing the brightness of your iPhone screen, activating do not disturb… Basically, anything that involves changing the settings of your iPhone or iPad is outside the limits of a wizard. third parties. Not just from Alexa; also from Google Assistant for iOS.
However, there are many more things that Alexa can do that Siri cannot. The main thing is compatibility with third-party devices . Having a house that depends solely on HomeKit is currently risky. The vast majority of best-selling products do not offer compatibility with Apple’s home automation ecosystem, with Alexa being a much more interesting alternative. If you have a house full of smart bulbs and plugs or your goal is to automatize your rooms step by step, Alexa is still the best option both for the variety of compatible devices and for the price of smart speakers.
HomeKit is still behind in terms of understanding and variety of devices , Presumably this will eventually change and Apple will manage to position Siri as a real alternative to Google and Amazon assistants, but today, Alexa is still at the top .
As we said, Alexa cannot replace Siri on your iPhone. But it does not matter. If you already have the Alexa app on your iPhone or iPad, the new feature basically simplifies the use of Alexa on iOS. In short, the change is nothing more than adding an Alexa widget to your home screen , that is, putting Alexa a short touch away to have her more at hand.
How can I add the Alexa widget?
To add the Alexa widget you will only have to press and hold anywhere on the main screen so that the icons start to shake and you can see the “+” icon in the upper left corner of the screen. By clicking on this icon you will be able to see the list of available widgets according to the applications you have installed, so that will be where you will find the “ Ask Alexa ” Widget.
In the event that you have the Amazon Alexa app updated to the latest version and you cannot find the widget in the widget list, try opening the Amazon Alexa app and closing it so that the widget list is updated with the changes. Doing that you should finally see the Ask Alexa widget.
Once you have it, place the widget in an area of the screen that you can operate with some comfort when you need it. At the moment, this widget is the easiest way we have to invoke the Amazon assistant from our iPhone. On Android, Alexa can be configured to respond to our voice – although its operation is not brilliant – and Google Assistant can even be replaced with Alexa. Apple is much more conservative in this aspect, and it is likely that we will never have features like these on our iPhone.
How to pair iPhone with Amazon devices through the app
You can pair your iPhone with any of the Amazon smart speakers in your home and use them as the audio output of your iOS device via Bluetooth connection. This is another point in favor of Alexa, as Apple HomePod devices do not allow you to do this. If you want to pair your iPhone or iPad to your Amazon Echo devices, you need to do the following:
- Activate Bluetooth connectivity on your iPhone from settings. Then tap on ‘Scan for new devices’.
- Open the Alexa app and tap on the ‘ Devices ‘ option.
- Go to ‘ Echo and Alexa ‘.
- Tap ‘ Bluetooth Devices ‘ and then ‘Pair a new device’.
- Clever. The next time you want to connect, just turn on Bluetooth on your iPhone and tell your Echo “ Alexa, connect to iPhone ”. You must say the full device name if you have multiple iPhones in your home so that Alexa can connect to the correct terminal.