Amazon has released a new widget that makes using Alexa even more convenient for iPhone users. Here’s how to download it and get started.

Amazon has released a new iOS widget that makes using Alexa even more convenient for iPhone users. Utilizing and setting up the widget is just as easy, but it might not prove to be as equally useful to all iPhone users, depending on their Home screen setup. When Apple released iOS 14, it brought a handful of neat features to the iPhone.

Among these features is the ability for users to place Widgets on their iPhone Home screen. These customizable tiles display various information and/or act as a shortcut to a particular app. This can make accessing and using an app more convenient, since widgets don’t require the user to sift through all of their apps and menus. However, the process of adding widgets doesn’t always apply to every app available, as some don’t offer widget support yet. Up until now, that was also the case for Alexa.

Amazon announces regular app updates via its monthly roundup. In the latest update, the company introduced the ability to set reminders with Alexa and the arrival of its Ask Alexa widget. To add the widget, all iPhone users need to do is to tap and hold on an empty spot on their Home Screen until the apps start shaking. Then, tap on the plus symbol that appears in the upper-left. All that’s left to do is to search for and select the Ask Alexa widget. It’s worth noting that users should first update the app to the latest version for the widget to appear, and of course, they should also be running on iOS 14 or later.

Using Amazon’s Ask Alexa Widget

There are many iPhone widgets that actually help improve user productivity, but some might be wondering, how the Ask Alexa widget achieves this if it doesn’t offer anything the app doesn’t? Well for starters, it lets users activate Alexa straight from the Home screen, making interactions faster, without having to go through the trouble of opening a separate app and navigating various menus or tapping additional buttons. Tapping on the widget once also allows Alexa to immediately listen to commands, lessening the steps by no longer requiring the use of wake words/voice commands for activation.

However, there are also limitations. For example, the widget only has one function as well as not having the ability to resize its tile. The widget itself does take up quite a bit of space, which might force some users to rethink or rearrange their Home screen setup, and for something that only serves a singular, non-dynamic purpose. While using the smart stacking feature could alleviate the issue, it won’t help ease visual clutter or be right for those who want to keep their Home screen as simple as possible. Otherwise, Amazon’s Ask Alexa widget is a welcome addition that’s certainly better than not having the option at all.