Voice calling and messaging comes to all Amazon Echos and Echo Dots

Amazon has just officially revealed the new Echo Show with video calling capabilities, but that’s not the only device that will be getting calling and messaging capabilities. All Amazon Echos and Echo Dots will now have the ability to receive voice calls as well as voice messages, if you choose.

If you enable the feature, you can make and receive voice calls to other Echo and Echo Dot owners. To make a call, just ask Alexa to call someone on your contact list. You can see who is available to receive calls through the Alexa app. When receiving a call, the Echo device’s light ring will glow green and make an audible beep. To talk, just tell Alexa to answer the call.

In addition to making calls, you can send voice messages to people. Say “Alexa, message [name]” to begin recording a voice message. The recipient’s Echo device will alert them to an awaiting message with a beep and green light and they can play the message whenever they want.

Messaging is not limited to Echo devices. They can also be initiated through the Alexa App, even if the individual does not own an Echo device. You can start and answer calls through the app. You can also type out and send text messages through the app, which will then arrive on the Echo device and be read by Alexa.

All of these new communication features, whether it be video calls, voice calls, or voice messages, are completely free with no usage charges. They are already available starting today.

Update

For a full overview of how the call and messaging system works, see this post.

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13 comments
  1. Craig says:

    So this is the formal start of Amazon’s VoIP ambitions, huh?

    I’m sure it’ll be on Fire TV sooner or later, for quick calls etc…

    Elias? Do you see them launching their own text messaging service with voice dictation too?

  2. cheryl jones says:

    I know you don’t have a crystal ball but do you think echo owners will get the ability to call before the show comes out?

  3. Randy says:

    What is the skill called? I can not find it.

  4. Jasper Michael says:

    Yeah, so the usual questions apply.

    Does Amazon’s text, voice, and video messaging offer end to end encryption?

    What protocol does it use? How is it secured?

    Does Amazon retain copies after we read/listen to it? Are these copies encrypted at rest? Does Amazon have the keys to decrypt this data? Will they give it up without a valid court order?

    Will Amazon datamine our communication and use it for their own marketing? Will they sell it to third-parties? If either is true, is our data aggregated and anonymized before being used or sold? How is it anonymized, are they using differential privacy like Apple?

  5. Ganef says:

    Not ready for prime time.
    Too many bugs and missing functionality in the Android app and setup.
    Cannot speak for the IOS version.
    No way to remove/deregister the calls/messaging completely.
    No way to change your call/messaging profile number, or remove the profile once it was entered.
    When in a call, disconnects from the attached bluetooth speaker.
    Volume of messages verses Alexa Prompts is very low.
    Cannot be used on the Fire 8 or any other Tablet.
    I love the echo system and all, but this still needs a lot of work.
    Why

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