If you are a fan of smart devices, then you may already have an Echo device – Amazon’s line of smart speakers that connect to other devices using Amazon’s voice-controlled personal assistant Alexa.
These Alexa-powered speakers from Amazon hit the market first before the likes of Google, Lenovo, and Apple followed suit with their own smart personal assistants. The top products in this space include:
- Google Home Smart Assistant
- Lenovo’s Smart Assistant
- Apple’s HomePod
- The Echo from Amazon
These products are taking the market by storm through Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo, the pioneer in this world of smart speakers, remains in command of the largest market share.
Amazon Alexa supports a large number of streaming services – both free and subscription-based on Amazon devices. The voice-controlled app lets you customize practically all the voice commands you use with your speakers and intelligently keeps track of these commands for you.
With Alexa, you can enjoy convenient playback control in your home as you stream music and other media through any number of your Alexa devices. Registering your Alexa device to an Amazon account also allows you to access your Audible library and Amazon Music library automatically, taking your home entertainment to another level of convenience.
What if you have an iPhone home?
Apple devices and services are extremely selective when it comes to pairing and connecting to non-Apple services or devices. So, you may realize that Apple iTunes and Amazon Alexa do not play well together, which begs the question: is my iPhone able to connect with an Amazon Echo device?
The answer is a big YES! So pull up a chair, sit down and we’ll show you how it’s done.
Echo devices are Bluetooth enabled, which means you can control the audio playback on your device by speaking to Alexa. This is to say that you will be able to play and control your Apple music service on Amazon’s smart speakers if iPhone is what you use for your home entertainment.
Using Bluetooth to connect your iPhone to Alexa
You can connect an iPhone to the Amazon product via Bluetooth, giving you the ability to start streaming and control the audio with the following products:
- 1st or 2nd generation Amazon Echo
- 2nd gen Echo Dot
- Echo Spot
- Echo Show
- Echo Plus
The first thing you’ll have to do is get the two devices (your iPhone and the Amazon Echo device) connected.
This entails pairing the iPhone with your Echo device via Bluetooth. To do this, take your iPhone near the Alexa device that you want to pair. On your iPhone, open the Settings app. Navigate to Bluetooth and open it.
Say, “Alexa, pair” to put the Amazon Echo device in Bluetooth Pairing mode. With that command, Alexa should give you an audible acknowledgment that it is searching and confirm when your Echo device is in pairing mode.
Next, you’ll get a notification on your iPhone screen asking if you want to pair or giving you the ability to cancel the pairing request. Tap “Pair” to connect the two devices via Bluetooth.
Alexa should also give you an audible confirmation that it has just connected to [name of your iPhone], adding that now that you’re paired, you should just say “connect my phone” next time you want to reestablish the pairing.
On your Bluetooth screen, the Echo will now show as connected. You can see this by scrolling to Other Devices at the bottom where the particular Echo device appears.
Streaming music and more
Once you have paired your iPhone with Alexa, you can open the Apple Music app and select the specific song or playlist that you want to stream. You should then hear this selection play through your Echo speaker.
You can stream audio from iTunes, Apple Music, Podcasts, and even the Apple TV. You also have the option to play music from any third-party app that has audio, such as AudioBox or Pandora.
Controlling playback and more
Alexa is a voice-controlled app so you will be able to control your playback by simply speaking to it once it is playing.
You can tell the intelligent personal assistant to play, pause, raise and lower the volume, resume, and even skip ahead and back to the contents on that playlist.
You won’t be able, however, to ask Alexa to identify a song for you, nor can you make it play specific songs or other content from your iPhone. If you try asking your Alexa to play specific songs, it will simply break the connection to your iPhone and instead play music from the Amazon music source that you have set as your default choice, such as Amazon Music.
For that kind of command, Apple prefers that you use its own personal assistant Siri, so you’ll need to say “Hey Siri” for that.
If you’re an iPhone owner and an Echo diehard at the same time, Bluetooth pairing is a great way to start using these amazing devices together. Though it does have its limitations, it still makes listening to your favorite music fun and easy.