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This story is part Home Advicea collection of practical CNET tips on how to get the most out of your home, both inside and out.

You already know what 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 like using all the great features of Alexa, but on the go.

Siri is fine (and Apple added a couple of updates to his virtual assistant in iOS 15.4), but if you prefer to communicate With Amazon’s trusted voice assistant, you can simply add the Alexa iOS app widget to your iPhone or iPad’s home screen. Once you set it up, one touch will call the assistant you prefer to talk to.

It’s not a big secret – almost everyone smart home device on the planet works with Alexa, but for Siri and HomeKit, your options are more limited. Not to mention, Siri sometimes stops responding to basic requests (at least on my iPhone). I almost gave up on Siri, and you might as well.

Alexa, on the other hand, is almost always available, accurate, and downright friendly. And the Amazon voice assistant even has another name and voice variant. If you like Alexa set timers and reminders, turn on the light and answer questions when you are at home, wait, you will start talking to Alexa on your iPhone when you are not at home.

I’ll briefly explain how to set up the Alexa iOS widget and use it to take the place of Siri on your iPhone or iPad. But first, one word of caution.

Read also: The Real Cost of Setting Up an Amazon Alexa Smart Home

siri

Siri is fine and all, but wouldn’t it be better to talk to Alexa?

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Alexa can’t completely replace Siri, but it doesn’t Indeed matter

There are some functions that only Siri can perform: changing the brightness of your iPhone’s screen, turning on Do Not Disturb, and so on. Basically, anything that changes settings on your iPhone or iPad isn’t available to a third-party assistant like Alexa.

However, there is much more than Alexa Can Do and Siri Can not – especially if you didn’t pay attention to whether the smart home device you bought is compatible with HomeKit. My house is positively littered smart plugs as well as doorbell video 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 don’t even add Alexa to your iPhone – it’s right there in the app. All that adding an Alexa widget to your home screen really does is that Alexa is just one short tap away, but that’s enough to make adding an Alexa widget to your iOS home screen worth it.

Read also: Best Cheap Alexa Devices

Amazon Alexa

Alexa can’t change settings on your iPhone, but Amazon’s voice assistant can do everything else.

Amazon

Add an Alexa widget to your iPhone home screen.

Now that I’ve told you why adding Alexa to your iPhone is beneficial, here are the steps you need to follow to add the Alexa widget to your home screen. It will only take you a few minutes and a few taps as you really only need to create a widget and then move it to the desired location on your home screen.

Alexa iOS widget

You can leave the Alexa widget out of the way or move it directly to the iPhone home screen.

Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

one. On iPhone or iPad, swipe from left to right past the first page of the home screen.

2. Tap and hold one of the widgets until a menu appears. Click Change home screen.

3. Click + icon in the upper left corner.

four. Scroll until you see Amazon Alexa or type Alexa in the search box, then tap Amazon Alexa.

5. Click 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 Made in the top right corner and you’re done. If not, while the widgets are still wiggling, press and hold the Alexa widget until it “raises”, then drag it to your home screen and drop it where you want it to live, then tap Made.

A word of warning before you start: While widgets have been handy tools since their debut in iOS 14 in 2020, they can be finicky if you’re not used to using them. The new widget can mess up your home screen layout if you’re not careful with moving it around.

And here it is. Just select an Alexa widget and start driving.

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