Making Calls with Alexa
Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant introduced in 2014, plays a pivotal role in hands-free calling, closely associated with the Amazon Echo. The synergy between these two technologies enables seamless phone calls via voice commands.
Amazon Echo, a smart speaker integrated with the virtual assistant Alexa, offers the convenience of making phone calls through either your smartphone or the Echo device. One notable advantage of using Echo is its compatibility with your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to issue voice commands for various household tasks, including making phone calls.
Getting to Know Amazon Alexa: If you desire the convenience of making phone calls without manually navigating your phone’s interface, follow these steps:
- Check the compatibility of your smartphone, which should have iOS 10.0, Android 5.1, or Fire OS 220.127.116.11 or higher.
- If you haven’t already installed the Alexa app on your mobile device or tablet, you can download it from the Google Play Store. Simply search for ‘Amazon Alexa’ and install it. After signing up with your name and phone number, you’ll notice a ‘Communicate’ icon at the bottom menu of the screen. Tap it.
Initiating Phone Calls: At the top of the screen, you’ll find four icons: Call, Message, Drop In, and Announce. Tap the Call icon to access your phone book and scroll to select the person you wish to call. If you haven’t imported your contacts during registration, you can do so from the Communicate page. Tap the ‘Profile’ icon at the top-right corner, then tap the three dots. You’ll find an ‘Import Contacts’ option. Click on it to swiftly import your contacts into the Alexa app’s phone book. Now, tap on the name of the contact you want to call. If they are also registered on Amazon Alexa or Echo, you’ll see options for both phone and video calls, along with their name. Choose your preferred option. If they are not registered in the app, you won’t be able to reach them via Alexa.
Understanding Amazon Echo: Given the repeated mentions of Amazon Echo, it’s important to grasp its role in this process. Launched in 2014, Amazon Echo is a compact Bluetooth speaker that activates when plugged into a power source and connected to your home Wi-Fi through the Alexa app on your smartphone. As previously mentioned, it comes equipped with the Alexa app.
Types of Phone Calls: To make Alexa-to-Alexa calls between Echo devices, instruct Alexa to call contacts who have compatible Echo devices or the Alexa app, based on how you’ve saved them. Simply say, ‘Alexa, call Oliver.’ For calling a mobile number using your compatible Echo speaker, you can do so by stating the person’s name or reading out their phone number. For example, ‘Alexa, call 2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7.’ In the event that your mobile phone is unavailable, you can still make calls by linking your mobile account to Alexa, enabling you to make and receive calls through your Echo devices, hands-free. To link your mobile account, access the Menu in the Alexa App, go to Settings, select Communication, and then choose your Mobile Network Operator. Regarding charges for calls made from your Echo device, they are billed as per your operator’s allowances, similar to regular phone calls. Alexa’s Calling Capabilities: Amazon Alexa can initiate hands-free calls to all the contacts in your phone book. It can call them on their landlines, mobiles, or compatible Echo speakers. However, it’s important to note that Alexa cannot place emergency calls to services like the fire department or to premium-rate numbers. Additionally, Alexa’s phone call feature is currently available only in select countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and Mexico. In case of emergencies requiring police assistance, you will need to use your actual phone.