Amazon launches Alexa Calling to make hands-free calls through your Echo speaker
Amazon has added an exciting new feature to its Alexa smart speakers – the ability to make free calls from their Echo device to mobile and land line numbers in Australia.
And soon customers will be able to assign an emergency contact who can be called and send a text message via the Alexa speaker if a user asks for help.
“For years, Alexa has been keeping Aussie homes organised, entertained and connected,” said Kate Gooden, Head of Product, Amazon Alexa ANZ.
“Alexa users around the world have used Alexa-to-phone calling to stay connected socially.
“We’re proud to bring this to Australia, but I’m especially excited about how this will help older Australians with a device at home.”
This new feature is available to customers with an Alexa powered device and is designed to keep users connected with friends and family.
It’s also especially beneficial for older Australians who want to live more independently in their home.
You can add up to 10 contacts via the Alexa app which can be dialled hands-free through your home’s wi-fi network.
All you need to say is: “Alexa call Jo’s mobile” or “Alexa, message Mum”.
Here’s how you can set up Alexa Calling:
- Download the latest version of the Alexa appand sign in on your mobile phone.
- Along the bottom of your app, select Communicate.
- Add and verify your mobile phone number and grant permissions for calling and messaging.
- You can import your mobile phone’s contact list when prompted or add contacts individually via the Communicate page in the app. To do this, select the person-shaped icon in the top right corner of the screen, followed by the three dots in the top right corner.
And when your contact receives a call, they will see your name on the screen like it’s coming from your smartphone.
Alexa Calling is the latest in the suite of existing Alexa communication features.
– Drop In: Like a modern-day intercom, this feature allows you to ‘drop in’ on supported Alexa-enabled devices. Drop-in on your pets while you’re away from home, or drop-in on another device in the house. Drop in is turned off by default, but can be enabled within the Alexa app.
– Announcements: Make announcements across your household. Just say, “Alexa, announce its dinner time.”
– Alexa-to-Alexa: Call your family and friends on their Alexa device, by saying “Alexa, call [insert name].”
– Group Calling: You can connect with multiple people at once by creating and naming groups in the Alexa app.
– Find my Phone: If you’re signed into the Alexa app, you can use your Echo device to call your phone. Simply say, “Alexa, find my phone”.