Germany and the UK have been waiting for this: Starting today you can make Alexa voice calls and send messages via Amazon Alexa devices (including the app for IOS and Android). We immediately tested the new features… here is how it works:

  1. After the iOS or Android update (03.10.17) for the Amazon Alexa app you will be led through a setup process upon opening the application.
  2. As the first step of the setup process you will have to verify your identity by entering your phone number (e.g. cell phone number). You will receive a six-digit code which you will have to enter into the Alexa app on your smart phone.
  3. The code will act as your personal sender name (call identification). Contacts can reach you via the code after each has made an entry for the other party in their phone book.
  4. If you allow access to your phonebook, all contacts which can be reached via Alexa will become visible.

Now we are all set. First you will receive a test message from Alexa, which you will be able to access from one of your Alexa-compatible devices. The device will pulse in the color green once you have a message to retrieve.

“Alexa, play my messages” – immediately Alexa will read the first message. From now on you can contact your family, friends via voice, video (Echo Show!) or text message.

If in addition you activate the function “Drop In” , it is possible to call your other Alexa devices via direct connection without the need of the call being accepted. Big plus if you girlfriend at that moment is in the kitchen and just opened the fridge. 🙂

In case of an incoming call from one of your contacts the device will play a short tone and Alexa will tell you who is calling. With “Alexa, answer the phone” you can pick up the call.

The most important commands for the use of voice/video calls or message dispatch by Amazon Alexa.

 

Video calling with Echo Show is just as easy.For example, a video call can be made from a smart phone with the installed Alexa app to an Echo Show. This also means you do not necessarily need Alexa compatible hardware to use the new features. You can get by with the respective Amazon app for your smart phone and could even make calls from app to app.

Amazon Alexa voice calls and messages – good to know:

  1. It is recommended to enter your mobile phone number during setup, so your contacts can find you easier. Who still has (and who will need) a landline?
  2. After recording a message with Alexa, it will be played to your contact as an MP3. You do not have to “dictate” the message or speak especially clearly as is the case with a text message dictated to for example Siri.
  3. Messages can also be sent via text input through the Alexa app.
  4. The “do not disturb” mode can be activated in the app for all Alexa devices (on/off or via schedule).
  5. “Drop in” can also be activated for every device.
  6. By clicking on the account icon (upper right corner in the Alexa app) you can configure which of your contacts are “drop in” (direct connection via voice) enabled.

What is still missing….

We hope you enjoy Alexa’s new functions. Let us know in case you have discovered additional features or are missing functions!

 

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