Amazon has added phone calls and messaging to the list of Alexa’s many capabilities.
So, if you own or buy certain Alexa-compatible devices, they can now make phone calls for you at the sound of your voice — completely hands-free.
What is Alexa?
Alexa is what’s known as an intelligent personal assistant — just like Apple’s Siri, for example. Alexa comes with Amazon’s compatible “smart” devices, most notably the hands-free Echo devices. They include:
- Echo (which Amazon recently overhauled)
- Echo Dot (pictured above)
- Echo Plus (which is one of the newest Echo devices, introduced in September)
- Echo Show
- Echo Spot (which is one of the newest Echo devices, introduced in September)
Amazon describes Alexa as the “brain” behind these devices. The company continues:
“Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question — just ask, and Alexa will respond instantly. Alexa lives in the cloud so it’s always getting smarter, and updates are delivered to your devices automatically.”
How Alexa calling and messaging works
Amazon refers to Alexa’s new communication features collectively as “Alexa calling and messaging” — and they’re free. These features are available with the five Echo devices listed above.
To get started using these features, download the Alexa app to your phone and import your contacts to the app. Amazon explains:
“Making calls with Alexa is easy. Once you’ve synced your contacts in the Alexa App, just ask Alexa to place a call … either by saying your contact’s name (‘Call Dad’) or voice-dialing a number (‘Call 222-555-0126’).”
You can make outbound calls to most mobile or landline phone numbers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Alexa’s other calling and messaging capabilities include:
- Alexa-to-Alexa calling: Make calls to and receive calls from compatible Echo devices or devices with the Alexa app.
- Alexa-to-Alexa video calling: If you have one of the Echo devices with a screen — like the Echo Show — you also have the option of making and receiving video calls.
- Alexa-to-Alexa messaging: Send messages to and receive messages from compatible Echo devices or devices with the Alexa app.
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