How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone

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How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
You can download the Alexa app on your iPhone and use the virtual assistant just like you would Siri. Westend61/Getty Images
  • The Alexa app for iPhone can be used with or without an Amazon smart speaker.
  • To set up, download the app and follow the on-screen prompts to teach Alexa your voice.
  • You can pair your iPhone with Amazon devices via Bluetooth using the Amazon Alexa app.
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You probably already know that Alexa is a virtual assistant used for Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Studio, and other smart speakers. You may not know that the Alexa app also works on iPhones and can be used even if you don't have an Amazon device.

You can use the Amazon Alexa app to set up an Echo smart speaker, as well as to pair your iPhone with a smart speaker via Bluetooth.

Here's everything you need to know.

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How to use the Alexa app for iPhone

1. Download the Amazon Alexa app from the Apple App Store.

2. In the pop-up menu about enabling Bluetooth, tap OK to allow Alexa to set up or connect with other devices (like your iPhone or Echo speaker).

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How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
Enabling Bluetooth is key to connecting and setting up your Amazon smart speakers. Abigail Abesamis Demarest

3. Sign in to your Amazon account.

4. Tap Continue to agree to Amazon's terms and conditions.

5. Tap Yes or No to set up a device.

6. Tap to select who you are from the list of options. Confirm your first and last name, then tap Continue.

7. Tap Allow if you want to give Alexa access to your contacts (so that you can use commands like "call mom") and allow notifications. To skip this step, tap Later.

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8. Continue to follow the on-screen prompts to set up Alexa, which includes teaching Alexa your voice. You can skip any steps in the set-up process by tapping Skip.

How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
Enabling Microphone access is necessary to speak commands to Alexa. Abigail Abesamis Demarest

9. To enable Alexa, say "Alexa" or tap the blue Alexa icon at the top of the screen, then speak your request. You can also tap the keyboard icon to type out your request.

How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
If you have hands-free enabled, you can just say "Alexa" to activate the virtual assistant. Abigail Abesamis Demarest

How to add the Alexa widget to your iPhone home screen

iPhones running iOS 14 and later have a home screen filled with widgets, which can be found if you swipe all the way left past all your different screens containing apps.

If you know you're going to use Alexa (or any other app) often, the home screen is a good place to put it for easy access.

1. On your iPhone, swipe left until you hit the home screen filled with widgets.

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2. Tap and hold your finger down on one of the widgets (it doesn't matter which one) until a pop-up menu appears. Tap Edit Home Screen.

How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
Tap any widget on the home screen to see the pop-up menu and make edits. Abigail Abesamis Demarest

3. Tap the plus + icon at the top-left of the screen, then tap the Amazon Alexa icon. If you can't find it easily by scrolling, tap the search bar to find it.

How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
Tap the + button to add widgets to your home screen. Abigail Abesamis Demarest

4. Tap Add Widget. Use your finger to reposition the widget, as desired, then tap Done when finished.

How to pair iPhone to Amazon devices via Alexa app

You can pair your iPhone with any of Amazon's smart speakers like the Echo, Echo Dot, and more via Bluetooth.

1. Put your Bluetooth device (Echo, Echo Dot, etc.) into pairing mode.

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2. Open the Alexa app, and tap Devices.

How to set up and use the Alexa app on your iPhone
Navigate to the Devices tab to set up a speaker or pair your iPhone with an Amazon device. Abigail Abesamis Demarest

3. Tap Echo & Alexa.

4. Select your device from the list of options. Tap Bluetooth Devices, then Pair a New Device.

5. The next time you want to connect, simply enable Bluetooth on your iPhone and speaker and say "Pair Bluetooth."

A comprehensive list of Alexa voice commands you can use with your smart devices How to connect your Amazon Echo to Wi-Fi to get the most out of your Alexa-enabled smart speaker How to set up any Amazon Echo device and customize its settings How to play podcasts on your Alexa-enabled smart speaker by connecting a Spotify, Apple, or Amazon account
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