Alexa for Windows 10 PCs goes hands-free

In November, Amazon launched an Alexa app for Windows 10 PCs that allowed PC owners to speak to Alexa in order to set reminders, timers and alarms, create to-dos, track their calendar, control their smart home, get news, information and more and even play music. Now, that app is getting an update — amid Microsoft’s suite of Build announcements, Amazon has released a new version of the Alexa app for Windows that offers a hands-free experience.

That means, explains Amazon, you can now invoke Alexa whether it’s running in the foreground or the background. All you need to do is to say “Alexa” thanks to the new wake-word capability.

The hands-free option doesn’t replace the former push-to-talk capability. That’s still an option, if you prefer.

In addition to the new hands-free feature, the app now includes support for Pandora music streaming, allowing Windows PC owners to use Alexa to ask for their favorite Pandora stations.

The app represents another way that the Alexa experience has become untethered from Amazon Echo’s speakers, as well as a way for the voice assistant to be used in a more productivity focused environment.

The Alexa app for Windows 10 PCs will automatically update when it’s opened, Amazon says. The app is a free download from the Windows Store.