Amazon has updated its Alexa mobile app for Android and iOS devices with anticipated “hands free” support. As its name suggests, the new addition is designed to let users activate Alexa on their mobile devices by directly using their voice. The latest change works similar to how you access Alexa on your Echo device. This means that you no longer need to wake up the digital assistant by tapping the blue Alexa button on the app — the process that existed up until now.
With the new update, you just need to ask Google Assistant on your Android phone or Siri on your iPhone to open the Alexa app to begin with the hands free experience. This is unlike the earlier experience in which you were required to open the app and then tap the blue Alexa button.
Having said that, there’s still a catch. You need to unlock your phone and still require to open the Alexa app to launch the assistant. This shows that you aren’t able to use Alexa just as how you use the default assistant (read Google Assistant or Siri — depending on your phone).
A handful of smartphones including the Moto X4 did enable the hands free experience through the preloaded Alexa app in the past, however you could use the feature even with the phone locked.
Amazon is rolling out the hands free experience on both Android and iOS devices through the latest Alexa app, as reported by TechCrunch. However, the feature isn’t likely to be available to all users immediately and may take some time to reach the masses globally. We’ve reached out to Amazon for clarity on the rollout.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
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