The Alexa app update, which was first spotted by 9to5Mac, includes the ability to add an Ask Alexa widget to your iPhone or iPad home screen. Just tap the widget, and boom, you’re talking to Alexa.
The Alexa app for iOS already allows for hands-free chatting with Alexa provided the app is open, so in truth, iPhone and iPad users could already start talking to Alexa with a single tap of their home screens.
That said, the Ask Alexa widget is much larger than the standard Alexa app icon, making it easier to tap while you’re out and about.
To add the Ask Alexa widget to your iPhone or iPad home screen, tap and hold any app to make your home screen go into “wiggle mode,” then tap the “+” button in the top-left corner of the screen.
Once that’s done, just find the Ask Alexa widget in the widget menu, tap the blue Add Widget button, then drag and drop the widget onto one of your home screens. You can place the Ask Alexa widget on its own, or put it in a widget stack.
You’ll need to have the Alexa app installed to add the Alexa widget, of course.
Only one version of the Ask Alexa widget is available: the smaller one, which is roughly four times the size of a standard app icon. Other apps offer medium-size and large widgets, too.
If you don’t see the Ask Alexa widget on the iOS or iPadOS widgets menu, make sure you’ve updated the Alexa app to the latest version (2.2.430030.0).
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.