Do you want to use Amazon Alexa instead of Siri to give commands and help while driving?
It is not possible to use Alexa with CarPlay. This is because Alexa is operated by Amazon and CarPlay exclusively uses Siri, which Apple operates. So while you can get the Alexa app on your iPhone, this won’t show up in CarPlay.
There has been lots of demand and requests online for people wanting to use Alexa over Siri, like this Reddit user:
“I want it so I can play my Amazon music without fumbling with the app in the touchscreen. I say “hey Siri, open Alexa”, and it response with that it can’t open that app while using CarPlay. I can open the Alexa app I just have to open it on my phone, which is not safe while driving. Is Siri jealous? Lol.” – duck_shuck
Despite the demand, Apple doesn’t seem the be allowing direct integration of Alexa within CarPlay any time soon.
But why is this, and are there any alternatives or workarounds?
Continue reading to find out…
Why Alexa CarPlay isn’t Compatible with Each Other
There are several reasons why Alexa isn’t compatible with CarPlay. These include:
Alexa is Amazon – Siri is Apple
Alexa is typically only available for Amazon products, usually for smart home uses, such as lighting, cameras, televisions, and even thermostats, but not for CarPlay.
Even if Apple and Amazon wanted to work together for an Alexa CarPlay mix, there is very little incentive for either to do so.
The closest compatibility I have found is to add the “Ask Alexa” shortcut to your widget screen, as seen in the image below.
To add the Alexa widget to the iPhone screen, use the following steps:
- Download the Alexa App from the Apple app store and set it up
- Then, from the Home Screen, touch and hold a widget or an empty area until the apps jiggle.
- Tap the Add button “+” in the top left-hand corner.
- Select a widget, which in this case will be the Alexa app, choose a widget size, then tap Add Widget.
- Tap Done
Once this is complete, you will have quick access to using Alexa on your iPhone with just a slight momentary delay with the app launching and you clicking the widget.
Note: As we have previously discussed, just because the app is available on iPhone does not mean it will show up within CarPlay. I even tested it to see if I could get it to show, with no luck, as seen below.
Alexa CarPlay Alternatives
While there is no direct solution to having Alexa as your personal driving assistant, there are a couple of solutions you could do as an alternative.
I apologize if this is obvious and not what you want to hear while reading this article. But, Siri is made for CarPlay, so it has the best native experience.
Perhaps you simply haven’t figured out what Siri CarPlay commands you can use, so check out my article for some inspiration.
But here are some of the most common ones:
- “Siri, give me directions to [insert location name here] using [insert name of navigation app eg: Waze, Google Maps, etc..]”
- “Siri, call [person name]”
- “Siri, text [person name]” OR “Siri, text [person name] on WhatsApp” – The default is SMS / iMessage
- “Siri, Play [Song, artist or Album name]”
Use Siri to Access Alexa
Disclaimer: It’s dangerous and even illegal to be distracted while driving, so ensure your phone is appropriately set up, or best of all, you pull over before doing this alternative.
You can access the Alexa app and ask commands all through your iPhone without laying a finger on your phone.
The one caveat, however, is that it won’t work with CarPlay, which is a big drawback.
If, despite this, you are determined to use Alexa over Siri, I believe this is the best solution.
As discussed in the disclaimer, make sure your phone is appropriately positioned in the car and not in your hand or lap, ideally with a car phone mount.
Once set up:
- Say, “Hey Siri, open the Alexa app”
- Siri should then unlock your phone if not already unlocked and launch the app
- This will then allow you to launch the Alexa voice model by saying “Alexa”
- You can then fire away by asking questions, and Alexa will reply