How To Make and Answer Calls with your Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is capable of many things, from turning on the lights to ordering the latest book online.
One of the coolest and most useful things you can do with your Echo is making and answering phone calls.
Your Echo can receive calls from other Alexa users and make calls to anyone you want to call. It’s a very handy feature that doesn’t get the attention of some of
If you have an Amazon Echo and your friends or family have one too, or Alexa on their smartphone, you can make free calls using voice control directly from your device.
If you want to make calls outside of this infrastructure, you can call out from an Alexa device in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Configuring the Amazon Echo for Phone Calls
Before you can make and answer calls with your Amazon Echo, you first need to set everything up.
You will need to install the Alexa app on your smartphone and link it to your Amazon account and to your Echo.
I’ll describe the entire process in case you’re completely new to Alexa. Here are the steps for configuring your Echo to make and receive phone calls:
- Download the latest version of the Alexa app onto your smartphone and install it. Either from the app itself or a fresh version, iOS from here and Android from here.
- Follow the wizard to set it up and give it permissions to access your phone data.
- Add your phone number and allow Alexa access to it. You will be sent a verification code which you will need to respond to in order for it to work.
- Once you complete the wizard, you should be able to see a contact icon. Select this to see who of your phone contacts also has Alexa. You will be able to perform Alexa to Alexa calls to anyone you see there.
Making calls with an Amazon Echo will use your phone data but will not use phone minutes. If you’re running low on data for the month, bear it in mind when making calls with Alexa.
I’m not sure how much data making a call uses but make sure you have enough spare data left on your plan to cover it.
Making a call with your Amazon Echo
You can make an Alexa to Alexa call or ‘break out’ and call a landline or a mobile phone.
You can use the Alexa app or your Amazon Echo. To make a call with your Echo, just say “Alexa, call NAME” to call someone in your phone contacts or “Alexa, call NUMBER” to call a specific phone number.
As long as the contact’s name is in your phone contacts, Alexa should call their Alexa app.
If you’re making a call to a non-Alexa user or calling a number, they obviously don’t have to be in your contacts. You just say “Alexa, call 555-555-5555” or whatever the number is, and Alexa will call it.
If you want to make a call from the Alexa app instead, select the conversation screen and select the Contact icon in the top right, select the contact and select the phone icon. Select the camera icon to make a video call.
Answering a call with your Amazon Echo
When you receive a call on your Echo, you will also receive the call on your Alexa app. The light ring on the Echo should turn green and Alexa will notify you of the call. To answer using the Echo, say “Alexa answer call.”
If you want to answer using the app, just answer your phone as normal.
You don’t have to take the call if you’re busy. You can say ‘Alexa, ignore’ and it will do that. You just need to let your phone ring out if you don’t want to answer from the app.
Sending voice messages with Alexa
Voice messages are another neat feature of the Alexa app that allows you to send audio messages to someone. These Alexa app voice messages are like pre-recorded voicemails and can be useful for quick updates or messages when you don’t have time for a full phone call.
To send a voice message using your Echo, say “Alexa, send NAME a message” and speak your message out loud. Of course, this assumes NAME is a name in your contacts.
To send a voice message via the Alexa app, open the conversation window, and select the blue microphone icon instead of the phone icon to record a message.
Alexa receives the message in the same way it receives a call, the Alexa app will alert your phone and your Echo will glow. You can listen to the message right away or save it for later.
The Amazon Echo and Alexa can do much more than just play music or tell you the weather. If you know other people with the device you can talk as much as you like without it costing you a dime. You can do all this from your Amazon Echo or your Alexa app.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my Echo call another Echo device?
Yes, Alexa does have a Drop-In feature you can use to make calls between two devices in your home. Open the Alexa app and tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper right-hand corner.
From here, you can turn on the Drop-In feature. You can set the feature to drop in from inside your home or you can set it up to drop in from anywhere. If you choose the latter, it will only allow certain contacts to drop in on your Alexa device.
Once turned on, head over to the Communication icon at the bottom of the Alexa app and toggle ‘Allow Drop In’ to the on position.
Now, you can use the Alexa app on your phone to call your Alexa device.
If you found this article useful, you might find other TechJunkie articles about the Amazon Echo useful as well, including Amazon Echo Troubleshooting Guide and How To Set the Amazon Echo Alarm to Wake You with Music.
Do you have any tips and tricks for making and receiving phone calls with your Amazon Echo? If so, please leave us a comment below!