Amazon just rolled out a new update for its Alexa app that adds a much-anticipated Home screen widget for iPhone and iPad. You can use it to ask Alexa anything you like faster than ever before. Here’s how to set it up.
With the Alexa widget on your Home screen, you can summon Amazon’s digital assistant with just one tap. It’s much faster than having to open the Alexa app, wait for it to load, and then starting your request from there.
The Alexa widget does everything Alexa can do elsewhere, including answering questions, creating timers and reminders, activating skills, and controlling smart home devices. Here’s how to add it to your Home screen.
How to add the Alexa widget to your Home screen
First, download the latest Alexa app update — version 2.2.430030.0 — from the App Store. Once it’s installed, follow these steps:
- On your iPhone or iPad Home screen, tap and hold any app icon, then tap Edit Home Screen.
- Tap the + button in the top-left corner.
- Scroll down to the list of available widgets and select Amazon Alexa.
- Tap the Add Widget button.
The Alexa widget will now appear on your Home screen. From there, you can move it anywhere you like. First tap and hold it, then select Edit Home Screen, then drag it to wherever you want to place it.
You’ll notice that, unlike some widgets, Alexa is available only in one size. It’s the smallest size a widget can be on iPhone and iPad, but it still takes up four icon spaces on your Home screen, so it should be more than easy to see.
A simple tap on the widget is all you need to activate Alexa. It will immediately start listening for your request.