New iPhone?  Ditch Siri and add Alexa to your home screen instead

New iPhone? Ditch Siri and add Alexa to your home screen instead

This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

You already know you can give Alexa Commands on your echo devicesbut did you know that you can also talk to Alexa on your iPhone? Think of it as taking all the great features of Alexa, but going for it. Whether you just bought a new iPhone 14 or are still hooked on another model, now is the perfect time to swap Siri for Alexa.

Siri is fine (and Apple added some updates for its virtual assistant in iOS 16), but if you prefer to converse With Amazon’s trusty voice assistant, you can simply add the iOS Alexa app widget to your iPhone or iPad’s home screen. Once you’ve set it up, a tap brings up the assistant you prefer to talk to.

It’s no big secret – almost all smart home device on the planet works with Alexa – but for Siri and HomeKit, your options are more limited. Not to mention that Siri sometimes chokes up and stops responding to basic requests (at least that’s the case on my iPhone). I pretty much gave up on Siri, and maybe you too.

Alexa, on the other hand, is almost always available, accurate, and downright user-friendly. And Amazon’s voice assistant even has a different name and voice option. If you like having Alexa set timers and reminders, turn on the lights and answer the questions when you’re home, wait to start talking to Alexa on your iPhone when you’re on the go.

I’ll briefly walk you through how to set up the Alexa iOS widget and use it to take the place of Siri on your iPhone or iPad. But first, a word of warning.

Siri

Siri is fine and all, but wouldn’t you rather talk to Alexa?

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Alexa Can’t Completely Replace Siri, But It’s Not really question

There are certain functions that only Siri can perform: changing the brightness of your iPhone screen, activating Do Not Disturb, etc. Basically, anything that changes settings on your iPhone or iPad itself is off limits to a third-party assistant like Alexa.

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However, there is much more than Alexa box do and Siri can not – especially if you haven’t paid attention to the compatibility of a smart home device you purchased with HomeKit. My house is positively littered with smart plugs and video doorbell cameras and all sorts of devices that Siri can’t talk to, but Alexa can.

In the end, it doesn’t matter, since you’re not replacing Siri with Alexa. In fact, if you already have the Alexa app (and you probably do), you’re not even adding Alexa to your iPhone – it’s right there in the app. All that adds an Alexa widget to your home screen is really putting Alexa in a click – but that’s enough to make adding the Alexa widget to your iOS home screen worthwhile.

Read also: The true cost of setting up an Amazon Alexa smart home

Add the Alexa widget to your iPhone home screen

Now that I have told you why adding Alexa to your iPhone is beneficial, here are the steps on how to add the Alexa widget to your home screen. It will only take you a few minutes and a few taps since you really only have to create the widget and then move it wherever you want on your home screen.

iOS Alexa Widget

You can either leave the Alexa widget aside with the others or move it directly to your iPhone home screen.

Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

1. On your iPhone or iPad, swipe left to right past the first page of your Home screen.

2. Press and hold one of the widgets until a menu appears. Faucet Change home screen.

3. Press the + icon in the upper left corner.

4. Scroll until you see Amazon-Alexa or type Alexa in the search field, then tap Amazon-Alexa.

5. Faucet Add widget at the bottom of the screen (there is only one size option).

This is the first part. If you’re happy with the location of the Alexa widget, tap Do in the upper right corner and you’re done. If not, while the widgets are still wiggling, press and hold the Alexa widget until it “picks up”, then drag it to your home screen and drop it where you want him to live, then press Do.

A word of warning before we begin: While widgets have been neat tools since their debut with iOS 14 in 2020, they can be finicky if you’re not used to using them. A new widget can ruin your home screen layout if you’re not careful how you move them around.

And There you go. Just select the Alexa widget and start ordering.

More for Alexa

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