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Your iPhone has a ton of sensitive and private information. This includes your photos, videos, audio notes, bank apps, notes, passwords, contacts, and more. Therefore to ensure your valuable data isn’t misused, stolen, or hacked, you must take measures to keep your iPhone secure.
In this guide, we give you 17 tips that will help you further strengthen your iPhone and keep its data safe.
1. Add a strong alphanumeric passcode
You should never keep your iPhone without a passcode. And even the passcode you set should be long and difficult to guess. This will make it almost impossible for anyone else to guess your passcode, even if they happen to get physical access to your device.
2. Add additional app-specific passwords
Many chat apps, bank apps, payment apps, notes apps, etc., offer an extra option to add a password lock. Dig inside the respective app setting and enable that. If an app doesn’t have one, you can contact its app developer and request such a feature.
3. Don’t let apps unlock with Face ID or Touch ID on shared iPhone
Have you added a second Face ID or Touch ID of other people on your iPhone? If yes, they can get inside your iPhone and your apps that are unlocked by biometrics. To address this, set up your concerned third-party app to open via passcode and not Face ID or Touch ID.
Alternatively, you can also remove extra unnecessary fingerprints or face from Face ID.
4. Remove fingerprints and Face ID of other people
You can add up to five fingerprints to iPhone’s Touch ID and two faces to Face ID.
When you got your iPhone, you might have excitedly added fingerprints of multiple family members or set up a second face to Face ID.
Tip: When you’re on the Touch ID screen and place your finger on the Touch ID button, it will highlight the added fingerprint corresponding to that finger.
5. Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled
Find My service lets you know the location of your iPhone, lock it, display a message on the Lock Screen, play a sound, and erase the device in case it’s misplaced.
6. Remove unknown and unnecessary configuration profiles
If you aren’t using the beta version of iOS or your iPhone isn’t given to you by your organization/school or not managed by them for special settings, apps, etc., then ideally, there should be no configuration profiles on your device.
7. Set a shorter auto-lock duration
8. Use two-factor authentication for all supported services
Two-factor authentication acts as an extra wall of protection. Almost every major service, from email, and social media, to banks, support this. Dig inside the privacy and security settings of the concerned service to find the two-factor authentication option.
9. Prevent sensitive information from appearing on the Lock Screen
10. Control app notifications on the Lock Screen
If you have some sensitive apps, you can prevent their notification from showing on the Lock Screen. This will ensure that any onlooker can’t see a preview of these notifications.
11. Review app location access
Some apps like Uber must have access to your location to function. However, several apps request your location but can work perfectly fine even if their location privileges are withdrawn.
12. Double-check other privacy settings
App developers regularly publish updates to fix bugs and add new features. The newest version of an app is generally better with security patches and improvements.
14. Install the latest version of iOS
15. Prevent your iPhone from auto-joining Wi-Fi and hotspots
You can stop your iPhone from auto-joining open Wi-Fi networks and hotspots as these can be easily exploited (and are deployed publicly in many cases) to steal your data.
Besides that, you can tap (i) next to a previously joined network and turn off Auto-Join or tap Forget This Network if you don’t plan on using this Wi-Fi network in the near future.
16. Don’t unnecessarily use free VPN
Free VPNs have to find a way to make money, and most of the time, it’s with your data. If you must use a VPN, it’s better to research and get the paid version of a reputable VPN. And if you don’t want to do that, make sure you use free VPNs sparingly.
17. Don’t download just about any app, and do your research first
App Store is well regulated, and Apple has checks and balances in place. Still, there have been ample cases of imposter or insecure apps making their way to the iOS App Store. Therefore, when you wish to download an app for a particular task, do your due diligence and get apps that have seen regular updates, have good ratings & reviews, etc.
And even when you open an app, don’t go about tapping “Allow” on every popup it presents. Read the alert and allow the app to access your location, contacts, microphone, etc., only if you think necessary.
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Netflix is pretty good at recommending movies for you to watch based on your past behavior, but you have to give it some help. Most of your recommendations are based on what you watch, and not how you rate it, but adding ratings to every movie can help it tweak your recommendations to fit your tastes even better.2. Adjust Your Past Ratings
3. Use Taste Preferences to Customize Recommendations4. Create Multiple User Profiles
Netflix associates what you watch and what you rate with your user profile—so if there are two people in the house, your taste preferences and recommendations could get awfully confused (especially if one person watches mostly romantic comedies and the other watches mostly space horror movies). By creating a user profile for each person, both of you will get better recommendations based on what you watch, and not what your housemate watches.5. Find Specific Types of Movies and Shows 6. Get More Information with NEnhancer
NEnhancer is a Chrome extension that shows you the IMDB rating for each movie, as well as the Rotten Tomatoes critic and user scores so you can get an idea of whether or not a movie is worth watching. The extension also lets you play trailers for movies so you can see if you’re interested before checking it out. These are the sorts of things that Netflix should have built in—lucky for us, someone beat them to it!7. Visit “Best of Netflix” Sites
8. Check Out What’s New
New movies and shows get added to Netflix all the time, and if you know where to look, you can find out what’s been recently added. Check out What’s New on Netflix to see what’s been added to your local Netflix lineup. The What’s New section of What’s on Netflix contains a lot of the same information. Don’t miss out on great movies and shows because you don’t know they’re available!9. Watch Other Countries’ Netflix with Hola
If you see something that you want to watch that’s only available on another country’s Netflix, you can still watch it—if you use the right tools. Hola Unblocker is a free extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge that functions as a VPN, letting you watch Netflix as if you’re in any other country. This is especially great if you live somewhere with a sub-par collection on Netflix. Also, if you happen to live in a country where Netflix hasn’t yet arrived, you can use the VPN to access it.10. Watch Movies with Friends, No Matter Where They Are
If it’s not a movie that’s in the wrong country, but one of your friends or loved ones, you can still watch with them. Rabbit is a tool that lets you share all sorts of things online, but many people use it to watch Netflix movies with other people who aren’t in the same room. It’s free, easy to use, and doesn’t require that you download anything.11. Manually Adjust Bitrates with the Hidden Menu 12. Get the Latest Features and Experiments
13. Add Items to Your List14. Set High Quality as Default 15. Clear Your Netflix Viewing History 16. Use Keyboard Shortcuts
If you’re watching on your computer, you can use your keyboard to control a lot of Netflix’s behavior. Here’s a list of useful commands:
Space / Enter: pause or play
Esc: exit fullscreen
Shift + left / right arrow: rewind / fast forward
Up arrow: volume up
Down arrow: volume down
M: mute or unmute17. Customize Subtitles
Make Netflix Yours
The recent outbreak of the Flashback trojan (Apple released an update and fix, get it!) has brought a lot of attention to potential viruses and trojans hitting the Mac platform. Most of what you’ll read is overblown fear mongering hype, and practically all Mac malware has come through third party utilities and applications. What that means for the average user is that it’s very easy to completely prevent infections and attacks from occurring in the first place, especially when combined with some general security tips.
Without further ado, here are eight simple ways to secure a Mac to help prevent viruses, trojans, and malware from effecting you:1) Disable or Remove Java
Flashback and other malware has installed through Java security breaches. Apple has already released several updates to patch the Java security holes that allowed Flashback to spread (you should install those), but you can also go a step further and completely disable Java on the Mac. Frankly, the average person doesn’t need Java installed on their Mac let alone active in their web browser, disable it and you don’t have to worry about security holes in older versions of the software impacting your Mac.
You can read how to uninstall Java from Mac here if you don’t use java at all on the computer. Otherwise you can disable it manually too.
1a) Disable Java in Safari
Open Safari and pull down the Safari menu, selecting “Preferences”
Disabling Java in the Safari browser is reasonably effective, but why not go a step further and disable it in Mac OS X completely? Chances are high that you won’t miss it, let alone notice it’s disabled.
1b) Disable Java System-Wide in Mac OS X
Open the Applications folder and then open the Utilities folder
Launch the “Java Preferences” application
Uncheck the box next to “Enable applet plug-in and Web Start applications”
Uncheck all the boxes next to “Java SE #” in the list below2) Update Apps and Mac OS X Software Regularly
Apple regularly issues Security Updates and many third party apps do as well, therefore regularly updating both your MacOS / Mac OS X System Software and Mac OS X apps are one of the single best preventative measures you can take to keep a Mac secure. We’ve hammered home about this repeatedly as a general Mac OS X maintenance tip because it’s important and so easy to do:
Open Software Update from the Apple menu and install updates when available
Open the App Store and download available updates to apps and anything else as well3) Disable or Remove Adobe Acrobat Reader
/Library/Internet Plug-ins/AdobePDFViewer.plugin4) Install Anti-Malware / Anti-Virus Software for Mac OS X
Using anti-virus software on the Mac is likely overkill, but it’s worth mentioning again. Additionally, there are anti-malware tools available now too.
Arguably the best solution is available for free from Malwarebytes (and yes, there is a paid tier but if you just want a scanner and removal tool, the free version is sufficient for those needs). It is a widely trusted tool that keeps an updated list of malware, and the free version will remove any detected malware from the Mac.
As for anti-virus, it’s generally not necessary. Nonetheless, we’ve talked about the free Sophos anti-virus here before, and though you probably won’t ever need it, it’s a free and effective way to fight viruses that may end up on the Mac. If you’re the cautious type and you’d like an antivirus on the Mac, Sophos is something to look into:5) Disable or Remove Adobe Flash / Use a Flash Block Plugin 6) Disable Automatic File Opening After Download
Uncheck the box next to “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading”7) Double-Check Anti-Malware Definitions are Enabled
You can also check the update list manually if you’re concerned the latest version hasn’t been installed, but as long as you have the feature enabled and have regular internet access, it probably is.8 ) Don’t Install Random Software You Didn’t Ask For
If you see a random pop-up window asking you to install random software you didn’t request, don’t install it! This may sound like common sense, but it’s actually how some Mac malware propagated in the past. Apple patched the hole that allowed for that to happen a while ago, but the overall message is still relevant: if you didn’t download or request an app to be installed and you’re suddenly confronted with an installation dialog, don’t install it.
Apple’s iOS operating system has come a long way since it first released in 2007. Over the years, every new version has introduced groundbreaking features and improvements. From the introduction of the App Store in iPhone OS 2 to the addition of 5G connectivity in iOS 14, the history of iOS is packed with some remarkable stories.
In this editorial, we will take a trip down memory lane and explore Apple’s iOS versions, from the first-ever iPhone OS to the latest iOS 17. We will delve into the key features and improvements that each version brought to the table, highlighting the significant milestones in the evolution of the iOS operating system.iOS 17
iOS 17 is announced on June WWDC 2023. The focus of iOS 17 was redesigning and upgrading the system apps and features. The Message, FaceTime, and Phone apps got several enhancements. Besides, Apple worked on connectivity by introducing NameDrop and FaceTime on Apple TV.
The most highlighted features of iOS 17:
Personalized Contact Posters
Video voicemail and Reactions on FaceTime
Search Filter, Catch up arrow, Swipe to reply, Transcription of voice messages, Check-in features in Messages app
Share contact card using NameDrop
Mindfulness feature on Health app
Create Profiles on Safari
Collaborated playlist on CarPlay
Upgraded Autocorrect and Dictation abilities
iOS 16 – September 12, 2023
iOS 16 was announced at the WWDC event in June 2023 and released in September 2023.
The most noticeable upgrade in iOS 16 was the supported features for Dynamic Island for iPhone 14 Pro models. It made the new notch design more fun by displaying animated notifications and offering controls around the camera.
Also, Crash Detection, Always On display, Emergency SOS via Satellite, etc., are exclusive features of the iPhone 14 series supported with iOS 16.
Key features of iOS 16:
Customizable Lock Screen
Better Focus Filters
New Message features
Redesigned Apple Maps
Apple Pay Later
Apple Order Tracking
iCloud Shared Photo Library
Live Texts on videos
Safety Check function
Improvements to Spatial Audio
Voice Isolation in phone calls
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud
Apple Music Sing karaokeiOS 15 – September 24, 2023
Unlike iOS 16, the iOS 15 update was more focused on software bug fixes, system improvements, and polishing features of built-in apps.
Additionally, the pandemic era influenced the feature upgrades. Apple worked on increasing security and privacy, preventing ad tracking, and improving Siri, Camera, FaceTime, Messages, etc.
As of writing, iOS 15 is supported on iPhone 6S series and later and the iPod touch 7 Gen.
Key features of iOS 15:
New FaceTime features – Spatial audio, SharePlay, FaceTime Link, Mic modes, Portrait modes, etc.
iMessage Share with you
Better Focus Filters with Notification Summary, Signal your status, etc.
Live Text and Memory features in the Photos app
Advanced Spotlight search
App Privacy Report
Mail Privacy Protection
Digital Legacy program
Redesigned Safari tabs
Improved Health and Wallet appiOS 14 – September 17, 2023
iOS 14 version lists similar system improvements very much like iOS 15. There were no significant changes. Apple added a few enhancements like privacy controls, Home Screen widgets, customization options, etc.
Key features of iOS 14:
Widgets on the Home Screen
Improved call notifications
Picture in Picture Mode
Translation, Password monitoring, and Website Privacy Report in Safari
Pinned Conversations and improved group texting in Messages
New Memoji Styles and Stickers
Cycling directions and Electric vehicle routing in Maps
App ClipsiOS 13 – September 19, 2023
Before iOS 13, iPad also ran iOS. But Apple took a big step by introducing a new iPadOS to make the iPad more productive and a possible laptop replacement. Since then, iOS and iPad OS have always been rolled out simultaneously.
The most visible new feature was the Dark Mode. Additionally, iOS 13 improved essential functions, like a faster app start, Face ID, Portrait Lightning, redesigned pre-installed apps, etc.
Key features of iOS 13:
System-wide Dark Mode
30% faster Face ID unlocking
Revamped Apple Maps
Sign In With Apple user account
New privacy and security options
Portrait Lighting effects
New, improved Siri voice
Overhauled system apps like Photos, Mail, Reminders, and NotesiOS 12 – September 17, 2023
The 12th iteration of the iPhone software had just a few new additions. Primarily, it improved regularly used functionality for providing a better user experience. Apple introduced Siri Shortcuts, ARKit 2, Screen Time tracking, etc.
Key features of iOS 12:
ARKit 2 for enhanced Augmented Reality
MemojiiOS 11 – September 19, 2023
iOS 11 got special features to support the iPod touch, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
Therefore, its primary features included more iPad-specific features like split-screen apps, drag-and-drop functionality, a file browser app, and support for Apple Pencil handwriting, etc.
Key features of iOS 11:
Support for Augmented RealityiOS 10 – September 13, 2023
The release of iOS 10 was a watershed moment for the Apple ecosystem. It offered several APIs to integrate third-party solutions into the system apps. Thus, iPhone got a boost of interoperability and customization in its UI and applications. Also, Siri became more accessible to third-party apps. The best part was Apple allowed users to uninstall built-in apps.
Key features of iOS 10:
Embedded iMessage apps
Delete built-in apps
Split Control Center into multiple panels
Integration of Siri with third-party apps
Smarter QuickType keyboard
3D touch displayed widgetsiOS 9 – September 16, 2023
iOS 9 prioritized building a solid base for the operating system to improve the speed, responsiveness, stability, and performance of older devices. After significant modifications to iOS’s design and technological base, users started to feel that iOS was no longer the reliable, trustworthy, and competent it previously was.
So, Apple decided to work on strengthening the OS’s basis rather than introducing new features, laying the framework for the larger enhancements in the next iOS updates. To get a public reaction and acceptance, iOS got the Public Beta feature. So, before the actual release of the upcoming iOS version update, people can get a taste of it.
Key features of iOS 9:iOS 8 – September 17, 2014
In iOS history, iOS 8 was a significant update as it introduced the contactless payment system named Apple Pay and the Apple Music subscription service. Also, it polished the iCloud features for more reliable and consistent performance. The most useful feature unveiled was the Handoff feature to seamlessly switch between Apple devices.
Apple walked in for a Dropbox-like iCloud Drive with the addition of iCloud Picture Library, and iCloud Music Library. To save subscription costs, Apple offered Family Sharing to enjoy content individually with a single subscription. Moreover, the HealthKit and HomeKit features focused on users’ daily living.
Key features of iOS 8:
QuickType in keyboard
HomeKit and HealthKit
Extensibility framework for third-party extensionsiOS 7 – September 18, 2013
iOS 7 was a troublesome update, and users were dissatisfied as things didn’t operate as expected. It included a significant redesign of the user interface in the update and opted for a flat look. But some users found it difficult to read because of the tiny, thin letters, and others experienced motion sickness because of the constant animations.
Besides, Apple provided quick access to the most used features with Control Center and launched AirDrop, Activation Lock, and CarPlay. Additionally, Siri got new voices and a redesigned look.
Key features of iOS 8:
Thumbnails in App Switcher
Improved Notification Center
Touch IDiOS 6 – September 19, 2012
In the history of iOS versions, iOS version 6 saw the most controversies because of Apple’s escalating rivalry with Google. Although the newly launched Siri was a real breakthrough technology, issues with it resulted in significant revisions.
Besides, from iPhone OS version 1.0, Google has included the Maps and YouTube applications pre-installed. But this time Apple replaced Google Maps with a new Apple Maps. But it was not up to the mark because of glitches, inaccurate instructions, and issues with other functionalities.
Sidelining the flaws, iOS 6 got a Podcast app, more capable Siri, a Panoramic mode in Camera, and access to make FaceTime calls over cellular data.
Key features of iOS 6:
Do Not Disturb
Passbook (now Wallet)
New features in Siri like launching apps
FaceTime over cellular dataiOS 5 – October 12, 2011
iOS 5 was a turning point for Apple as it introduced crucial new features like Siri, iCloud, wireless iPhone activation, and Wi-Fi iTunes syncing. Users could download and install software updates on their iPhones without a computer. Besides, for better user experience and accessibility, iPhone got Notification Center and iMessage.
Key features of iOS 5:
Redesigned Reminders and Newsstand apps
Wireless syncing and activationiOS 4 – June 22, 2010
With iOS 4, the futuristic iOS started to take form as Apple tagged the “iPhone OS” as “iOS” for the first time. Many revisions to this version included features like FaceTime, multitasking, iBooks, Game Center, arranging programs into folders, custom wallpapers, Personal Hotspot, AirPlay, and AirPrint.
Moreover, Apple included Bing as a search engine for Safari and allowed users to merge multiple email accounts in one inbox. It was the first iteration of iOS to stop supporting all iOS devices. It was incompatible with the first-generation iPod touch or the iPhone.
Key features of iOS 4:
System-wide spell checking
5x digital zoomiPhone OS 3 (iOS 3) – June 17, 2009
iOS 3 was the first operating system for the iPad and came out of the box with the iPhone 3GS without any charge. Users were able to copy and paste text system-wide. Besides, Spotlight search, MMS support in the Messages app, and the capability to shoot films using the Camera app are just a few of the new features it included.
Key features of iOS 3;
Copy and paste
Voice Memo app
Recording videosiPhone OS 2 (iOS 2) – July 11, 2008
iPhone OS 2 was meant for iPhone 3G model, which included support for the 3G network. As iPhone became a big hit, app developers tried to jailbreak iPhone to install third-party apps. So, Apple introduced development tools like APIs and SDKs for software companies to launch apps in App Store to prevent installing apps from the web.
During its debut, the App Store had around 500 applications. Besides, Podcast support, walking, and public transportation instructions in Maps, iTunes Genuine playlist, and enhancements to Mail, Calculator, and Contacts using Microsoft Exchange support were other significant additions to iPhone OS 2.
Key features of iOS 2:
Developer APIs and SDKs
Support for Microsoft ActiveSync and Microsoft Exchange
Improved Maps appiPhone OS 1 (iOS 1) – June 29, 2007
But it lacked support for actual third-party applications and came with basic pre-installed apps like Calendar, Pictures, Camera, Notes, Mail, and Phone.
Key features of iOS 1:
Music (iPod Touch)
Videos (iPod Touch)
What to expect from iOS 17?
The new update, which is set to be rolled out at WWDC 2023 on June 5, may get features like call recording, Lock Screen widgets, Split Screen, dual apps, third-party App Store, etc. To find out more, go through our article on iOS 17 rumors and expectations.
Long live iOS!
Apple’s iOS has evolved significantly over the years, from its humble beginnings in iPhone OS 1 to the latest iOS 16. With each new version, Apple has introduced innovative features and improvements that have transformed the way we use our iPhones and has continuously pushed the boundaries of what is possible in mobile technology.
Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.
Silhouetting is one of the most interesting techniques in iPhone photography. By leaving your main subjects in the dark, silhouetting helps you to create a sense of mystery in your photos while at the same time drawing more attention to their subjects.
But more importantly, silhouette photos just look awesome, and it’s very easy to take them with the iPhone. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to photograph silhouettes with your iPhone on your own, and you’ll discover a few simple tips to make sure that they always look amazing.Finding the perfect light
Whenever you shoot against the source of light so that your subject is illuminated from behind, the iPhone will automatically turn your subjects into silhouettes. It really is that easy to shoot silhouettes, as long as you know where to find such light.
To take photos against the source of light, you need to find what is known as directional light, which is essentially light coming horizontally from the side. On sunny days, there is directional light for about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset since the sun is low above the horizon at that time. If you live at a higher latitude – like Canada and most of Europe – the sun may also be sufficiently low throughout the day in winter.
Since the sun is low, make sure you can actually see it from your shooting location. Large open spaces such as the beach are really good for silhouettes, though you can take them anywhere where you can see the sun when it’s low above the horizon.
In the above photo, I found a small sunlit area when most of the park was already in the shadow because of the numerous trees blocking the sun. And did you notice that I placed the sun behind the tree? I did that on purpose to avoid a blown-out white area where the sun was supposed to be and also to avoid lens flare.
In most cases, light can only enter the scene from the sky. However, sometimes light can be reflected from wet surfaces, and it is also possible to create silhouettes against such reflected light, as seen in the following photo.
In many cases, you can also take interesting silhouettes indoors if there is directional light coming from a window, door, or another architectural feature. In the following photo, I could create a silhouette because the light was entering the room through the glass door.
When your subjects take up a large portion of the screen (as seen above), the iPhone will automatically set the exposure to the subject, thus ruining the silhouette. If that happens, you can fix the exposure manually by tapping on the brightest parts of the scene.Finding the perfect subject
Once you’ve found good directional light, the next step is to find an interesting subject for your silhouettes. While you can create silhouettes from almost anything, the vast majority of my silhouette photos have people as subjects. I like human silhouettes, as they always create a sense of mystery when you try to imagine who those people could be.
I often choose to take silhouettes in popular places such as a busy beach so that I don’t run out of interesting subjects. If there’s a steady flow of people, I might just stay in one place and capture whoever is passing by, as I did in this photo.
Notice how lens flare – seen as a gray circle covering the person on the right – looks great in this photo, and the sun is completely blown-out. This may work well in some photos, but usually, I prefer not to have the sun shining directly into the iPhone’s lens.
At other times, I might be walking around and actively looking for interesting subjects that would look great as silhouettes. That’s how I came across the following scene of a family feeding seagulls, which I knew would make the photo very interesting.
In this photo, two silhouettes on the right are overlapping, which doesn’t really look good. In general, it’s best to keep silhouette scenes simple and avoid such overlapping subjects as they can quickly get very confusing.
If you’re new to iPhone photography, you might not feel comfortable taking photos of people you don’t know. From my experience, it has never been a problem as most people don’t care about being photographed, and you can’t recognize anyone in silhouettes.
Of course, you could just take silhouettes of your friends and family. In general, I find it less interesting since I enjoy the unpredictability of subjects I don’t know. On the other hand, knowing your subjects gives you more control over the scene, and you can take photos that would never be possible otherwise.
On the same note:
Let’s be honest, Siri isn’t the best virtual assistant out there. Despite the efforts like offline Siri in iOS 15, Siri has always been behind a few assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Searching the web, answering questions, maintaining context, or even controlling smart home devices, Siri isn’t the most reliable AI assistant. And, when it comes to smart home products, who can beat Amazon Alexa?
In this article, let’s learn about how to download, set up, and use the Alexa app on your iPhone.
How to set up Alexa on iPhone
Unlike Siri, Amazon Alexa isn’t available as a built-in assistant on iPhone. Currently, there’s no way of installing any third-party assistant on iOS or iPadOS. So, to get Alexa on iPhone, you’ll have to use its app.
Here’s how to set up Alexa with your iPhone.
After the setup is complete, you’ll enter the main screen of the Amazon Alexa app.
How to use Alexa app for iPhone
On the Alexa app, you’ll see five tabs: Home, Communicate, Play, Devices, and More. In the section below, I’ve explained the use of each tab.
Home screen – Set an alarm, create a shopping list, and more
This is where the magic happens. Tap the Alexa icon on top to summon it. Summoning it for the first time will prompt you to enable location access. Next, use the hot word “Alexa” to call it.
Under the Alexa icon, there are a bunch of suggestions, such as setting up an alarm, music services, creating a shopping list, etc. You can tap any suggestion to enable it quickly.
For example, you can set up a preferred music service so that when you ask Alexa to play some music, it will play from your desired music streaming service only. And yes, you can ask Alexa pretty much anything to look up from the web by tapping the mic button on the top!
Moreover, you can add some skills to Alexa. Like, add a skill called Amazon Storytime, which features a collection of bedtime stories, including some originals from LEGO for kids. Now, your kids can ask Alexa for a bedtime story.
Pro tip: Alexa is a little better than Siri in surfing the web and collecting answers.
Communicate – Call directly, announce messages
If someone in your contacts happens to have an Amazon Alexa device or app, you can call or text them directly from this section. There’s a feature called Drop In that makes all your Alexa-compatible devices act as an intercom.
Say you’re in a supermart picking up things for your home, kids aren’t picking up the call, and you want to ask them if you’ve to bring anything from the mart.
You can Drop-In into the Echo of your home from the iPhone’s Alexa app and say your message. It’s truly a worldwide wireless intercom.
Moreover, there’s a feature called Announce that lets you, well…, announce messages to all the Echo devices at once.
Say you’re late from the office and you want to let your family know, you can just Announce, ‘I’ll be late home for dinner,’ and Alexa will ping each device on your network. It’ll send a notification if someone’s using Alexa for iPhone.
Play Music – Play music, listen to Kindle libraries
If you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, you’re in for a treat. Using the Play tab, you can ask Alexa to play any music in the world.
You can even tune into your local radio stations and listen to a whole list of Amazon Kindle libraries. And yes, you can link Apple Music and Spotify as well.
Devices – Manage multiple devices
With an increasing number of smart home devices around us, everyone owns at least one smart home controller — like a smart speaker or a smart display.
If you happen to own an Amazon Echo device, you can manage everything related to the device in the Devices tab. Along with adding new Echo devices to the app, you can combine multiple Echo speakers to act as a stereo speaker directly from the Devices app.
More – Manage your Alexa account
Though self-explanatory, More is a place where you can manage everything related to your Alexa account. You can link your account to TV streaming services, add reminders, set alarms, change language, and more.
Add Alexa widget to your iPhone home screen
Despite Alexa having such an interesting app, the primary use only comes up when we ask something.
However, opening the app, tapping the mic button, or summoning ‘Alexa’ is a hassle. Thanks to a new update, Amazon Alexa has gained support for widgets on iPhone. Now you can summon Alexa right from your iOS Home Screen with a single tap.
Download or update the Amazon Alexa app to the latest version.
Long-press an empty space on the Home Screen to enter the Jiggle mode.
Now, tap the + button at the top left.
Scroll the list and select Alexa.
Finally, place the widget wherever you like.
Now, when you tap the widget, your iPhone will fire up the Alexa app with the microphone activated to say the command quickly. This certainly brings Alexa one step closer to Siri on iPhone — in terms of ease of access.
If you liked what we had to say about Alexa on iPhone, you might be interested in reading these as well:
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