Alexa is now hands-free in the Amazon Music app on Android and iOS

Amazon has started rolling out an update to the Amazon Music app for Android and iOS devices that adds hands-free Alexa capabilities. These apps gained Alexa last year but you had to press an Alexa button on the screen each time you wanted to make a request. With this update, as long as the Amazon Music app is on-screen, you can now say “Alexa” and make a request without touching anything.

Once your app receives the update with hands-free Alexa, you’ll see a full-screen notice the first time you launch the app after the feature has been enabled. The feature will be enabled by default, but you can turn it off in the app’s settings. It’s best to wait for a tone to sound after saying “Alexa” before making your request, instead of stringing the wake-word and request together, like you’re probably used to with Echo devices.

The nice thing is that you can make any Alexa requests you want. You’re not limited to music related requests. So if you’re driving and listening to Amazon Music, for example, and want to control a smart home device or ask about the weather, you can do it all hands-free.

In the update notes for the Amazon Music app, Amazon says that the new Alexa hands-free capabilities of the app work best when “connected to Bluetooth, USB, Aux, or headphones.” That’s likely because Alexa may have trouble hearing the wake-word if you’re blasting music out of your phone’s speakers. However, hands-free Alexa control does work without anything else connected to the phone.

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9 comments
  1. djino says:

    This is pretty sweet. Specially for when I’m running on the treadmill at the gym, and want to change the song with via my bluetooth ear peace. :)

    • Bumbo Diddy says:

      No, because like a Tesla crashing into a pond on its own, 100% of cases where this happens would be newsworthy and sucked up by the Mediadome in a matter of moments then splattered all over everyone’s black mirrors.

  2. Ian says:

    My iPhone is set to “sleep” after couple minutes (to save battery power). Will Alexa continue to listen and respond? Or must the sleep function be disabled?

  3. El says:

    Great news. What about allowing the app playing Spotify ?

  4. Joseph says:

    Has anyone noticed if you ask for the weather weather for West Queen and for some reason instead of your location? Has anyone found out how to set your location within the music app or somewhere else on the iPhone so that the music app will give you information based on your location

    • Ray says:

      I did notice that quirk when I first asked for Alexa to report the weather after the update. It had me go into the Alexa app and specify my home address, which I thought I already had. The forecast worked after that. But now I wonder, if when traveling, whether Alexa will deliver my home’s weather forecast or the weather for where I’m at. I believe Alexa used to be able to sense where I was and deliver a forecast for that area, so I wonder if that’s changed?

  5. Ray says:

    Wow. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this very cool update just made the $70 Muse Auto device obsolete. :/

    In the limited testing I’ve performed, it also seems much more responsive than the Muse Auto system.

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