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Amazon's newest feature lets you go hands-free in the Alexa app

You can now access your Amazon Echo without touching your phone when you're away from your speaker.

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You can now access Alexa hands-free via the Alexa app.
Chris Monroe/CNET

Whether you're on the go, or at home but nowhere near your Amazon Echo, you can still access Alexa on your speaker with just your voice. A new Amazon feature now lets you go hands-free in the Alexa app. For example, it's useful if you need to use Drop In on your Echo device or send a reminder to all the Echo speakers in your home. It could also simply be useful to avoid yelling at your Amazon Echo from another room to play music -- just ask your phone to play it on your speaker.

To use the new feature, open the Alexa app on your phone and tap the blue Alexa icon at the bottom of the screen. A window will open that says Use Alexa hands-free. Tap Turn On to begin using the new tool.

To go completely touch-free, you can say, "Hey, Siri" on your iPhone ($500 at Best Buy) or "Hey, Google" on your Android phone, followed by, "Open the Alexa app." Note that if your phone is locked, you'll need to unlock it before the app can be opened.

You'll need to update to the latest version of the Alexa app in order to use the new hands-free feature. If you still don't see it, be patient because Amazon says it's still rolling the feature out to users through the end of July. Also, it will not be available on phones with Alexa hands-free already built in.

Ready for more tips? Here are five unexpected uses for your Amazon Echo, how to play your Amazon Echo music from someone else's Alexa speaker and three Amazon Echo security features to use when you leave the house.

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