Amazon’s Echo continues to grow. Its latest upgrade is the ability to make voice calls and send messages to other Echo devices in the U.S. You could already use IFTTT to send canned text messages through your Echo, but this update expands that.
To get started with calling, first make sure that your Alexa app is updated through the Google Play Store or the App Store. You’ll notice the new app icon. Then, open the app and sign back into your Amazon account. Enter your name if it’s not filled already so your Echo can use it for outgoing calls. Finally, give the Alexa app access to your contacts so you can contact others, and confirm your mobile number.
Find the new messages tab in the Alexa app to see your messages and available contacts. Your Echo uses your phone contacts to find others who also have an Echo associated with their Amazon account. To call someone, make sure you have a contact for them in your phone that contains the same phone number they have on their Amazon account.
To place a call, just say Alexa, call Mark. Your Echo will light up with a green ring during an incoming call, and your phone will chime too. Say Alexa, answer the call to pick it up. If you don’t want to make a live call, say Alexa, message Mom and tell your Echo what you’d like to send. The recipient will hear a chime and see a green ring, and can say Alexa, play my messages to hear them later.
This works for the Echo and Echo Dot, but not the Echo Tap. Of course, the other party must have an Echo as well. You can also call people who use the Alexa app, but why would you do that when you can place a normal call?
Looking to do more with your Echo? Check out the best new skills you should try.
Do you think you’ll use the Echo call feature, or is it inferior to normal phone calls? Do you know many other people with an Echo device? Let us know what you think down in the comments!
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