Siri is a great assistant and HomePod is a terrific smart speaker. But these aren’t the only players in the game, right? Maybe you don’t want to spend the money on an expensive HomePod and appreciate that other assistants exist besides Siri.
Alexa and Amazon Echo are excellent alternatives. Plus, you don’t have to have an Amazon smart speaker to use Alexa because the app works on your iPhone without one.
If you want to give the Alexa app a try for your alarms, reminders, and timers, with or without a speaker, here’s how to set them up.
Alexa helps you stay on time
Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or iPad, access the menu with the button on the top left, and select Reminders & Alarms.
All three options for alarms, reminders, and timers are contained in one convenient spot. And for each type, you can use your voice in addition to the steps below. Just tap the Alexa icon in the center of the bar at the bottom and tell Alexa what you would like.
Use Alexa for alarms
1) Tap Alarms at the top and then Add Alarm.
2) Select the Time for your alarm.
3) Choose your Device. Optionally, you can set your alarm to Repeat, however, this is not supported if you choose your iPhone as the device.
4) The Date defaults to Today, but you can choose a different date if you like.
5) Another optional setting for your alarm is Sound. You should see a handful of celebrity sounds you can pick from or just use the default Simple Alarm.
6) Tap Save.
You’ll be directed back to the Reminders & Alarms screen where you’ll see your new alarm is enabled. You can create and save several alarms to reuse and edit an existing alarm by tapping on one.
Use Alexa for reminders
1) Tap Reminders at the top and then Add Reminder plus sign.
2) Give your reminder a name and then choose a time- or location- based reminder.
3) Enter the details for the type of reminder you choose whether Time or Location. For each type, you can create a repeating reminder and select the device.
4) Tap Save.
Use Alexa for timers
1) Tap Timers at the top and then the Alexa icon in the center at the bottom.
2) Tell Alexa to set a timer for X number of minutes, hours, or whatever time increment you need.
3) Your timer will display in the Timers section. To stop the timer ahead of time, tap it and choose Delete.
When your timer goes off, you’ll see a bar across the top of your iPhone, just tap to dismiss it.
Change the default settings for alarms and timers
Rather than choose an alarm or timer sound in the steps above, you can set a default for both if you prefer. Remember, these settings will apply to both alarms and timers.
1) Tap Alarms or Timers at the top of the Reminders & Alarms screen.
2) Tap Settings toward the bottom and select your device.
3) Adjust the Volume using the slider.
4) Tap Sound to choose one of the Celebrity Sounds or scroll down to Sounds for other types of sounds.
5) Enable the toggle for Ascending Alarm if you want the volume to gradually increase when the sound is triggered.
You can then tap the arrow at the top to go back if you’d like to set an alarm, reminder, or timer.
Remember voice commands
As we mentioned, you can use your voice with the Alexa app to set alarms, reminders, and timers rather than using the manual steps above. Just tap the Alexa icon at the bottom center of the app and speak your request.
Try commands like:
- Alexa, set an alarm for 6:30 AM tomorrow.
- Alexa, remind me to call the doctor at 10 AM today.
- Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes.
If you do use an Amazon speaker, you can, of course, set these three up by telling Alexa to do so on your speaker too.
Wrapping it up
If you don’t want to use Siri for some reason or just want to see if you like Alexa better, it’s nice that you can use the app with or without a speaker and on both iPhone and iPad for free.
What are your thoughts on the Alexa app? Are you going to give it a try or do you already use it and have some tips you’d like to share? Let us know!