Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021, 17:11 Software

iPhone Tip: Put Amazon Alexa on the Homescreen

In the global smart speaker market and in the competition between voice assistants, Amazon and Google have been going head-to-head for years. Apple has recently caught up with the HomePod mini and the now discontinued HomePod, but it still trails in third place. Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, however, not only offer their services on networked speakers, but are also known to be available on smartphones, tablets and computers.

Alexa has long been available on the iPhone.
Amazon's service, for example, has long been available on iPhones and iPads. The app required for this is likely to be installed on many devices from Cupertino, as numerous owners of iDevices use one or more smart speakers from the Echo series. However, the services of the voice assistant offered by the online retailer are not as convenient to call up as Siri. Before Alexa can answer questions or execute commands, the application must first be started.

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Amazon delivers home screen widget for Alexa.
With the latest update, that changes at least a little bit. Namely, Amazon now provides a homescreen widget for the Alexa app. This allows the voice assistant to be activated with a simple tap of the finger. To place the widget permanently on the iPhone's home screen:

- Hold your finger on an empty spot on the home screen until the app icons start to wiggle. If you have pressed on an app or folder icon for a longer time, you need to select the "Edit Home Screen" menu option first.

- Open the widget overview by tapping on the plus sign in the upper left corner of the display.

- Select the "Ask Alexa" widget.

- In the following pop-up window, confirm the option "Add widget".

Afterwards, Amazon's app can be started directly in Alexa mode with a tap of the finger. The previously required additional activation of the voice assistant is thus no longer necessary. The home screen widget can currently only be used on an iPhone. iPad owners will have to wait for iPadOS 15, as Apple will only make the function available in the upcoming version of the tablet operating system.

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