Did you know you can use Alexa to call and message others?

Amazon’s Alexa calling and messaging feature enables you to make and receive calls, as well as send messages between Echo devices, the Amazon Alexa app for iOS and Android, and fire tablets. It’s a neat way to contact family and friends. The best part? The feature is completely free to use, as it works over Wi-Fi on most Echo devices and into Alexa apps too.

Here’s everything you need to know about it and how it works:

You need an Amazon account and the Alexa app on a device running Android 6.0 (or higher), iOS 11.0 (or higher), or an Android Fire tablet. Everything must be set up using the Alexa app, where you’ll find the Communicate tab.

Once you’ve set it up via the Alexa app, you’ll be able to use the service across all your Echo and Alexa devices, as long as it’s enabled on each individual device – which it is by default.

You can sync the Alexa app with your contacts on your smartphone and this will allow Alexa to call phone numbers, meaning you can call from your Echo to a mobile phone, for example. Alternatively, you can use Alexa to call other Echo devices that your contacts have. If you don’t sync your contacts, you can only use it to contact other Echo or Alexa devices that you’re signed into – like an intercom system.

To get started with Alexa calling for the first time, you need to sign up for it:
1. Open the Amazon Alexa app (on your compatible iOS or Android phone).
2. Open the Communicate tab from the bottom menu.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter and verify your phone information.
Alexa uses your phone’s address book to find people you know who have the Amazon Alexa app with Alexa Calling enabled so that you can call them that way, too.

Here are some Alexa commands you can say:
  • Make a call to another Echo device: “Alexa, call [Corey]” or ” Alexa, call my [Family]”
  • Make a call to a mobile or landline number saved to your contacts: “Alexa, call [John’s] mobile” or “Alexa, call [Chris] on his home phone” or “Alexa, call [Brandon] at work” or “Alexa, call [Mom’s] office”.
  • Dial a mobile or landline number: “Alexa, call [number].”
  • Control call volume: “Alexa, turn the volume up / down.”
  • Hang up / end the call: “Alexa, hang up” or “Alexa, end call.”
  • Answer the call: Just say, “Answer.”
  • Ignore the call: Just say, “Ignore.”