Look Amazon and Microsoft, no hands!

Alexa is usually associated with smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo Dot, but the latest version of the Windows 10 app adds hands-free functionality.

Ry Crist/CNET

You no longer need to use your hands to chat to Alexa on Windows 10 PCs.

The most recent Windows Store update for the Amazon-powered voice assistant reveals that you longer have no interact with the app to get it to listen.

“Alexa on your PC is now hands-free,” read Microsoft’s patch notes. “Just ask and Alexa will respond, even when the app is running in the background or minimized.”

The app’s been available on PC since last November, but it didn’t respond to the wake word like your Amazon Echo smart speaker would — much to the chagrin of people who reviewed it in the months since.

Microsoft also recently dumped its Cortana voice assistant bot from its Skype video app, promoting Alexa in its stead.

It was reported last month that Amazon has human reviewers listening to hundreds of Alexa recordings each day, in an effort to improve her skills.

First published at 7:20 a.m. PT.
Updated at 7:50 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.


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