Alexa Hands Free Mode

For those who have been waiting for Alexa hands-free mode on their iPhone or Android — it's here, kind of — Let's take a look.

In this article, I will provide a simple guide on using Alexa hands-free mode on Android and iPhone devices. Its benefits / limitations and how to activate the feature.

Let's start by defining the Alexa hands-free mode.

What is Alexa Hands Free Mode?

Alexa Hands-Free mode is a feature available on the Alexa smartphone app for both iOS and Android devices.

When this mode is enabled, you can interact with Alexa without needing to tap the screen button within the Alexa App. You can simply say "Alexa" followed by your command, and the app will respond accordingly.

This mirrors the hands-free interaction you might be familiar with when using Alexa on devices like the Amazon Echo.

As convenient as this new feature might sound, it does come with its limitations.

Limitations and Workarounds

To use Alexa's hands-free feature, your phone must be unlocked and the Alexa app must be open.

This means you need to unlock your phone and launch the app before it's hands-free — a process that arguably defeats the whole purpose of being "hands-free."

However, a workaround exists. You can ask Google Assistant on your Android, or Siri on your iOS device, to launch the Alexa app for you. Once the app is launched, you can begin using Alexa hands-free.

Using Hands-Free Alexa: Practical or Not?

The reality is that the hands-free Alexa may not be the most practical solution for everyone due to the unlocking process.

However, using hands-free Alexa becomes more convenient for users with phones featuring Face ID, such as iPhone 10 and newer models, or Android phones like the Pixel 4.

Also, it could prove beneficial for those who prefer to use Alexa on the go or in rooms without an Echo.

A practical scenario for using this feature could be while you're driving with your phone plugged in, and a map program or another app is keeping your phone unlocked. Then, it truly becomes a hands-free option.

Overall, while there may be some resistance due to unlocking requirements, there are specific situations, like in-car usage, where hands-free Alexa proves to be highly practical.

Whether it's worth the effort or not ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.

How to Use It Effectively?

Using the Alexa hands-free mode effectively involves several steps.

  • Overcoming Limitations: One notable limitation of the hands-free feature is that it only operates when your phone is unlocked, and the app is open. However, there's a workaround for this. You can use Google Assistant on your Android or Siri on your iOS to open the Alexa app. Once the app is opened, you can start using Alexa hands-free.
  • Optimal Usage Scenarios: The best times to use the Alexa hands-free feature is when you're driving, cooking, or doing any other task that requires your hands. If your phone is unlocked by a mapping program or another app, Alexa can fully operate hands-free, making it a convenient tool for multitasking.

How Do I Make Amazon Alexa Hands-Free?

Follow the below steps to enable Alexa hands-free mode on Android phones and iPhones.

Enable Alexa Hands-Free Mode on Android

1) Launch the Alexa app on your Android phoneTap the three-lined menu icon (located in the lower right corner) > Then click on 'Settings'.

Use Alexa on Android Without Opening App

2) Navigate to Alexa on this Phone > Enable Alexa Hands Free.

Now the app will request permission to access your phone's microphone and device audio. Tap Turn on, then grant the app the necessary permissions.

Use Alexa on Android Without Opening App

Enable Alexa Hands-Free Mode on iPhone

To enable Alexa Hands-Free mode on your iPhone, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the three-lined menu icon located in the lower right corner.
  3. Navigate to Settings > Alexa on this Phone.
  4. You'll find a toggle next to "Enable Alexa Hands-Free" at the top. Tap the toggle to turn on the feature. That's it!

Note: Voice assistants can sometimes be activated unintentionally, which can raise privacy concerns.

Protect Your Privacy While Using Alexa Hands-Free

Here are ways to protect your privacy while using Alexa's hands-free mode.

  1. Regularly delete your voice recordings: Alexa stores your voice commands to improve its understanding and responsiveness. Regularly deleting these recordings can help protect your privacy.
  2. Mute your device's microphone when not in use: If you're not using Alexa, consider muting your device's microphone. This can prevent Alexa from unintentionally activating and recording conversations.
  3. Review and manage your privacy settings: Regularly review and update your Alexa privacy settings to ensure they align with your comfort level.

By following these steps, you can enjoy the convenience of Alexa's hands-free mode while maintaining your privacy.

Conclusion

Alexa's hands-free feature allows users to interact with Alexa without needing to tap the screen button within the Alexa App. However, the hands-free mode only works when the phone is unlocked and the Alexa app is open, which can be a limitation.

A workaround is to use Google Assistant or Siri to launch the Alexa app. The hands-free Alexa may not be practical for everyone due to the unlocking process, but it can be beneficial for users with phones featuring Face ID or for those who prefer to use Alexa on the go.

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