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.