Amazon has released a new version of the Alexa app for Windows 10, and the latest version can be used hands-free. This fixes the biggest complaint Windows 10 users had about the Alexa app, and makes Alexa much easier to use on your PC.
In January 2018, Amazon announced that Alexa was coming to Windows 10. This was initially thanks to Windows 10 devices which had Alexa integrated into them. However, in November 2018, Amazon released the Alexa app on the Microsoft Store for everyone.
Alexa for Windows 10 Now Supports Wake Words
The problem with Alexa for Windows 10 has been a lack of voice support. Until now, using Alexa on Windows 10 meant having to “push-to-talk”. However, Alexa for Windows 10 now supports wake words, so you can now summon Alexa using just your voice.
We know thanks to the “What’s new in this version” description on the Microsoft Store, which reads, “Alexa on your PC is now hands-free. Just ask and Alexa will respond, even when the app is running in the background or minimized.”
— DaveP+ (@DavePee) May 8, 2019
Being push-to-talk meant that the old version of Alexa literally only worked when you were sat in front of your PC and able to click the button. Now, you just need to be within earshot of your PC to command Alexa in the same way you would on an Echo device.
Thankfully, for those who don’t want Alexa listening in at all times you can still use the push-to-talk option. What’s more, you can quickly and easily switch between the two modes in the settings of the Alexa app.
Download: Alexa on Windows 10
Cortana Is Dead, Long Live Alexa?
Microsoft and Amazon have been forging a partnership for several years now, so this was the next logical step. However, by allowing Alexa to operate freely on Windows 10, it makes you wonder what the future holds for Cortana as far as Microsoft is concerned.
As a side note, the latest version of Alexa for Windows 10 also supports Pandora. Which means you can play music from Pandora using just your voice. Which may just be another reason to give Pandora another chance over these Pandora alternatives we recommend.