The Windows 10 app for Alexa is now hear and act on commands without you needing to lift a finger.
As noted through the Verge, the most recent form of the app on the Windows Store is now hear the ‘wake word’ (Alexa, Computer, or Echo, based on your preference) while the app is running in the background or minimized.
Previously Windows 10 users needed to hold down a button for Alexa to actively listen, making the update one step forward for convenience. However, if you would rather Amazon’s voice assistant wasn’t always listening in you, you can revert towards the previous settings within the app.
If you’re a Windows 10 user and do not want to use Alexa at all, it’s not able to hear you if the app isn’t open, or just was not downloaded.
Amazon’s voice assistant feels pretty much ubiquitous nowadays, having launched on its range of Amazon Echo devices making its method to Windows 10, Xbox One, Android and much more.
As the technology itself can prove hugely useful, users still have concerns with how their information is being managed, particularly when they own a device that is technically always listening.
Alexa hypothetically only records conversations following the ‘wake word’ is spoken, when you actually would like it to give consideration. Only last month claims emerged of Amazon employees playing back recorded conversations (albeit to enhance Alexa’s transcription software) or being able to view users’ home addresses.
While users are continually needing to weigh up their privacy versus convenience, it is just a fair choice when we know precisely what’s being done with this data, and why.