ALEXA isn’t the only person you can speak to on an Amazon Echo device.
Here’s how to use the smart speakers just like a phone to make calls to your friends and family.
You can use the Drop In feature to call another Echo smart speaker in your home or a friend’s home anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, you can try ringing the smartphone or home phone of contacts in the US, UK, Canada and Mexico.
Some phone networks even let you receive incoming smartphone calls via your Echo device.
Find out how to do all these things below.
Drop In is different to a voice call in the sense that you can drop in whenever rather than wait for an answer.
It works like an intercom so you can just make an announcement with no reply expected.
To use the feature you need at least one Amazon Echo device and the Alexa app.
You’ll need to sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging.
Open the app and click the Conversations icon, which is a text bubble.
Follow the onscreen prompts and enter your details.
Drop In should be set up by default but to make sure it’s on go to Settings.
Then pick a speaker from the list and under General it should tell you that Drop In is turned on.
You can also use Settings to make sure Drop In is only avaliable in your household.
You have to enable specific contacts to Drop In if they’re from a different household.
Find the contacts name in your Conversations tab and click ‘Contact can Drop In anytime’.
To use the feature say “Alexa, drop in on [contact name]”.
Or you can use the Conversations tab in the app.
Select a conversation with the contact and tap Drop In in the blue bar at the top.
You’ll only have this option if they’ve enabled you as someone who can Drop In.
Alternatively, you can go to your Contacts and select the Drop In button under their name.
Enable Do Not Disturb if you don’t want Drop In used on you for a bit.
To call different speakers in the house individually you need to give them all different names.
For example if you call one “Bedroom 1” you can just say “Drop in on Bedroom 1” and the device in that room will ring.
Alternatively, you can use the new Announcements function and say things like “Alexa, broadcast” or “Alexa, announce that dinner is ready” and every connected smart speaker and listener nearby should get the message.
It’s very easy to call a smartphone or home number via Alexa on your home WiFi.
You need to have the contact set up in your Alexa app and then you can say “Alexa, call [name]”.
You can also specify to Alexa is you want to call a contacts “home” or “work” phone and you can even say a mobile number out loud if you haven’t got the contact saved.
Your Alexa app will also show you which contacts have Echo devices you can call.
Alexa cannot call the following:
If you receive a call, your speaker should glow green and a ringtone will sound.
Alexa will tell you who is calling and you can answer or ignore verbally or through your app.
If you have multiple Alexa smart speakers you can stop them all ringing by setting all phone calls to come through your app instead.
In the UK, EE and Vodafone users can take incoming calls to their smartphone via an Alexa speaker.
Your handset will ring and you can get Alexa to answer instead with a verbal request.
Set this up on your Alexa app via Settings and then Communication.
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Do you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker? Let us know in the comments…
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