Thanks to a recent Alexa update, you can now access your iCloud calendar through your Amazon Echo, other Alexa-enabled devices, and the Alexa app. To do so, however, you’ll need to do a little tweaking behind the scenes.
We’ve shown you how to link your Google Calendar to Alexa, but now we’re back to help iCloud users get the same functionality. In order to use your iCloud calendar with Alexa, you need three things: two-factor authentication enabled on your Apple account, an iCloud app-specific password just for Alexa, and, naturally, your Alexa device to accept the voice input.
Step One: Create an App-Specific Password for Your Apple ID
We won’t run through setting up two-factor authentication on your Apple account, but we do have a detailed guide on doing so here for those of you who haven’t enabled it already. Instead, let’s jump right into creating that app-specific password.
Log into your Apple account at appleid.apple.com. Confirm your login by entering the two-factor identification code sent to your primary device. Once logged in, look for the section in your Apple ID control panel labeled “Security” and click on “Generate Password” as seen below.
When prompted, label the app-specific password “Alexa” and click “Create”.
Apple will provide you with a randomly generated alphanumeric string in the format xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx. Highlight and copy the password as we’ll be entering it in the next step of the tutorial.
Step Two: Link Your iCloud Calendar to Alexa
App-specific password in hand, it’s time to add your iCloud Calendar to Alexa. To do so you can either open up the Alexa app on your mobile device or you can visit alexa.amazon.com while logged into your Amazon account to access the Alexa dashboard from any web browser. (The latter is easier, since we’ll have to paste that password from step one.)
Once logged into the dashboard, select “Settings” from the left-hand sidebar and then select “Calendar”.
Within the Calendar menu, select the entry for Apple/iCloud.
You’ll be prompted to enable two-factor authentication if you have not already done so, and to create an app-specific password. Because we’re already two steps ahead of the game, just click “Continue” to move forward.
When prompted enter your Apple ID and your app-specific password and then click “Sign In”.
After signing in you’ll see all your iCloud calendars, checked by default.
Step Three: Configure Your Calendars, If Necessary
If you’d prefer not to use certain calendars with Alexa, you can uncheck them now.
Next, click on Settings > Calendar to return to the previous Calendars menu. Here, we need to make once final selection. In the drop down menu under “Alexa will add new events to this calendar:” select which of your iCloud calendars you want Alexa to use by default for any commands that add events.
With that last detail squared away, we can start using Alexa with iCloud.
Control iCloud Calendar by Voice Command
Now that the setup is behind us, it’s smooth sailing. You can access your iCloud calendar using natural language commands like you would any other Alexa function (like spooling up a podcast). While the calendar commands could definitely benefit from some flexibility (Alexa can’t answer the question “Alexa, is my weekend free?” for example), there are still plenty of things it can do.
You, however, use commands like:
- “What’s on my calendar?” or “What’s my next event” to hear what the next scheduled event is.
- “What’s on my calendar tomorrow at [time]?” or “What’s on my calendar on [day]?” to get an overview of that time slot.
- “Add [event] to my calendar for [day] at [time].” to create an entry like “Add charity jog to my calendar for Tuesday at 2 PM.”
Although the functionality is basic, it gets the job done, and allows you to check (and add to) your calendar using only voice commands.