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Why is My Echo Dot Flashing Green?

Posted by Jamie on December 27, 2018

The light ring on an Amazon Echo Dot is a signature part of the device and one of only two ways it can communicate with you. Aside from speaking to you using Alexa’s voice, the ring is a way of letting you know what’s going on or what needs your attention, and providing feedback on your interactions with the device. As such, it can turn a handful of different colors depending on what it’s trying to tell you. What does it mean when your Echo Dot flashes green, then?

The light ring on top of the Echo Dot is actually quite expressive. It can pulse, show a solid color, point a particular color at you or spin. The colors chosen are mostly well done, being a hue or two away from primary colors, just enough to make the Dot seem more ‘friendly’ than a traffic light and more interactive than a Simon.

Talk to me in lights

In its normal state, the Echo Dot stays dark and doesn’t interfere in daily life. When it wants your attention or when you are interacting with it, it will use lights along with Alexa’s voice to let you know what’s going on.

The Echo Dot is capable of a few color interactions, and while it may seem like a lot to keep track of at first, it’s fairly simple to get used to. They include:

  • A solid blue ring with a spinning cyan color means the Echo Dot is booting up.
  • A solid blue ring with cyan in the direction of your voice means Alexa is listening to you.
  • An alternating blue and cyan ring means the Echo Dot is about to respond to your command.
  • An orange spinning ring means the Echo Dot is trying to connect to your WiFi network.
  • A solid red ring means the microphone has been turned off.
  • A flashing yellow ring means you have a message.
  • A white ring happens when you are adjusting the volume.
  • A pulsing purple ring means your Echo Dot is having problems with the WiFi network.
  • A single flash of purple after you have said something means Do Not Disturb is active.
  • No lights means Echo Dot is waiting for you to say something.

If you are just setting up your Echo Dot, it is important to note that a yellow light is not a warning but a message indicator. Similarly, a red ring does not mean something is wrong but that you have switched off the microphone and cannot use verbal commands until you turn it back on.

Echo Dot flashing green

You probably noticed the list above didn’t include the color green. If your Echo Dot pulses green, it means you are receiving a call or Drop. If you have audio enabled, you should also hear Alexa alert you to the call. If you want to answer the call using Alexa, just say, “Alexa, answer call.” You can also answer the call using the Alexa app, too, if you prefer.

During an active call, your Echo Dot should no longer pulse but spin clockwise. This is to tell other users that a call is active and to not use the Dot until you’re finished. As clever as Alexa is, it cannot do more than one thing at a time, yet.

How to make and receive calls using Echo Dot

You can make or receive calls from an Alexa device or Echo Dot for free. You can call other cell phones or landlines from Alexa, but they are not free.

To make a call using your Echo Dot:

As long as you have the contact already set up in your Alexa app, you just need to say, “Alexa, call NAME,” and it will make the call for you.

If you don’t have the person as a contact, say, “Alexa, call 0123-555-6789.” Alexa will then use your phone to call that number as you would in a normal phone call.

To make a call using the app:

  1. Select Contacts in the app and select the person you want to call.
  2. Select the phone icon.

If your contact has an Echo Dot or the Alexa app, their Dot will flash green and announce your call. The app will also alert them. They can then answer using either of those, and you can talk as usual.

If the person you’re calling isn’t in your contact list, Alexa will break out of the Amazon network and use your phone to call them. To the recipient, this will look like a normal phone call with subscriber information and everything. This call will be taken out of your cell plan or free minutes as if you were calling from your phone, because you essentially are.

You can also force Alexa to use the recipients phone, instead of calling their Alexa. Just say, “Alexa, call NAME’s phone,” instead of just saying, “Alexa, call NAME.”

To end the call, either tap the end call icon in the Alexa app or say, “Alexa, end call,” or, “Alexa, hang up.”

So, to recap, if you see your Echo Dot flashing green, it means someone is trying to call you. It’s not any sort of crisis or emergency. Alexa should also tell you this but if you have volume turned down you may not hear it. As long as you turn the volume back up again, you should be able to talk through the Dot or the app as much as you like.

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