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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

You Will Soon be Able to Use Alexa Hands-free on Your Smartphone

While the Google Assistant and Siri are good at their job, if you’re someone like me and you’re using Alexa enabled smart devices in your house chances are you want to just say “Alexa, turn off the lamps” to your phone and have it listen. Well, soon you will be able to do just that.

Amazon is bringing hands-free access to Alexa on iOS and Android phones. With this new feature, you will be able to simply use the wake word for Alexa and use it as your smart assistant. That sounds like a pretty great deal to me.

However, there is a catch. You will have to first use the Google Assistant or Siri to launch the Alexa app. Then, you can start using voice commands to launch Alexa and start talking. Right now, you have to tap the Alexa icon from the bottom toolbar if you want to speak with Alexa. So this new method will likely be a lot easier and more seamless than it has been.

Some other minor catches that come with this feature include: the phone should be unlocked. Moreover, the wake word will only register if the Alexa app is open on the phone screen. Not the most seamless interaction, but still, it’s there if you want it.

If the feature isn’t available for you (it wasn’t for me on Android and iOS), worry not. Amazon will be rolling out the new feature worldwide in the next few days. So, you should get access really soon. However, make sure that your Alexa app is updated to the latest available version in order to make use of this feature when it rolls out.

Daniel Storey
Daniel Storey
Daniel Storey is business editor at British Journal. Previously he was the Independent's chief leader writer and worked in national newspapers for ten years, as a general news reporter and science correspondent, before specialising in economics. Daniel has broken a number of exclusive stories and interviewed senior figures including the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition.

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