Amazon's Alexa app now works hands-free on Android and iOS devices

Ironically, you have to use a rival voice assistant if you want to stay hands-free.


Alexa allows hands-free control of all manner of devices, but there’s been one glaring exception: its own smartphone app. Amazon has finally brought that feature directly to Android and iOS devices via a new update. All you need to do is open the Alexa app, either manually or (ironically) via Google Assistant or Siri to stay hands-free. From there, you can control Alexa with your voice as you normally would on an Echo or other device and ask it to play music, control your smart home or anything else Alexa can do.

The Alexa assistant has always worked on the app, but until now, you needed to touch the Alexa button on the bottom control bar for voice control. Now, it’s enabled automatically when the app is turned on. Once you say the wake word, a blue bar appears to show that Alexa is processing your request over the cloud.

To get the feature, you’ll first need to update the app. Then, you’ll be given the option to enable hands-free detection, while a new setting will let you disable the feature at any time. To use it, the phone must be unlocked with the Alexa app open. The feature is arriving worldwide over the next several days, but as usual, it may take awhile to come to your region.