Let’s be honest, Siri is not the best virtual assistant. Despite efforts like offline Siri in iOS 15, Siri has always been behind a handful of assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
For searching the web, answering questions, maintaining context, or even controlling smart home devices, Siri is not the most reliable AI assistant. And, when it comes to smart home products, who can beat Amazon Alexa?
In this article, let’s learn how to get and use Amazon Alexa on iPhone.
How to get Alexa on iPhone
Unlike Siri, Amazon Alexa isn’t available as a built-in assistant on the iPhone. There is currently no way to install a third-party assistant on iOS or iPadOS. So, in order to get Alexa on iPhone, you will need to use its app.
Here’s how to set up a profile.
- Go ahead and download Amazon Alexa on your iPhone or iPad.
When you open the app for the first time, there are a number of steps you need to follow.
- Log into your Amazon account and select a profile for Alexa.
- Set iPhone permissions and create your voice profile.
You will be prompted to say a few lines so that Alexa recognizes your voice. The next time you enter the app, it will reply to “Alexa”.
Once the setup is complete, you will be taken to the home screen of the Amazon Alexa app. On this screen, you’ll see five tabs: Home, Communication, Game, Devices, and more . In the next section, I have explained the use of each tab.
How to make Alexa work on iPhone: tips and tricks
- Play music
1. Home – set an alarm, create a shopping list, etc.
This is where the magic happens. Tap the Alexa icon at the top to bring it up. The first time you call, you will be prompted to allow location access. Then use the hot word “Alexa” to name it.
There are many suggestions under the Alexa icon, such as setting alarms, music services, creating a shopping list, etc. You can tap any suggestion to quickly turn it on.
For example, you can set up your preferred music service so that when you ask Alexa to play music, it plays only from the music streaming service you want. And yes, you can ask Alexa to find anything on the Internet by clicking the microphone button at the top!
What’s more, you can add some skills to Alexa. For example, add a skill called Amazon Storytime, which has a collection of bedtime stories including some of the LEGO originals for kids. Now your kids can ask Alexa to tell a bedtime story.
Pro tip: Alexa is marginally better than Siri at surfing the web and collecting responses.
2. Communicate – call directly, announce messages.
If any of your contacts have an Amazon Alexa device or app, you can call or send a text message directly from this section. There’s a feature called Sign In that makes all of your Alexa-compatible devices act like an intercom.
Suppose you are in the supermarket packing up your household items, the children don’t answer the call, and you want to ask them if you have brought anything from the store.
You can log into your home’s Echo from the Alexa app on your iPhone and say your message. It is truly a worldwide wireless intercom.
What’s more, there is an Announce feature that lets you … well … announce messages to all Echo devices at the same time.
Let’s say you’re late from the office and want to inform your family, you can simply announce, “I’ll be home late for dinner,” and Alexa pings every device on your network. It will send a notification if someone is using Alexa for iPhone.
3. Play Music – listen to music, listen to Kindle libraries.
If you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, a treat awaits you. In the Play tab, you can ask Alexa to play any music in the world.
You can even tune into your local radio stations and listen to the whole list of Amazon Kindle libraries. And yes, you can also link Apple Music and Spotify.
4. Devices – manage multiple devices.
With the increase in the number of smart home devices around us, everyone owns at least one smart home controller – for example, a smart speaker or smart display.
If you have Amazon Echo devices, you can manage everything related to the device in the Devices tab. Along with adding new Echo devices to the app, you can pair multiple Echo speakers to act as a stereo speaker right from the Devices app.
5. More – Manage your Alexa account.
While it speaks for itself, More is the place where you can manage everything associated with your Alexa account. You can link your account to streaming TV services, add reminders, set alarms, change language, and more.
Even though Alexa has such an interesting app, its main use only arises when we ask about something.
However, opening an app, pressing the microphone button, or calling up “Alex” is a hassle. With a new update, Amazon Alexa has received widget support on the iPhone. You can now call Alexa directly from your iOS home screen with a single tap.
To add the Alexa widget to your iPhone home screen:
- Download or update the Amazon Alexa app to the latest version.
- Press and hold an empty space on the home screen to enter wiggle mode.
- Now click on the + button in the upper left corner.
- Scroll down the list and select Alexa.
- Finally, place the widget anywhere you want.
Now, when you touch the widget, your iPhone will launch the Alexa app with the microphone activated to quickly speak the command. This certainly brings Alexa one step closer to Siri on the iPhone – in terms of ease of access.