Control Your Amazon Echo Remotely With Your Phone

Not near your Echo? Use your phone to communicate with your home

It's easy to control Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo line of products, with your voice. If you're out of Echo's earshot, learn how to control Alexa from your phone. You can use your smartphone as an Echo remote and give commands from your iOS or Android device.

This information applies to Echo-enabled devices, including the Echo Dot and Echo Show, used with the Amazon Alexa app for iOS or the Amazon Alexa app for Android.

How Using Your Smartphone as a Remote Works

When you're out of your Echo device's range, use the Amazon app on an iPhone or Android phone to control your smart home devices. Instead of issuing voice commands to the Echo, you'll speak to Alexa on your phone to send commands to the Echo, or issue commands by tapping icons on the screen.

Using iPhone to control Amazon Echo
FocusStocker / Shutterstock

This is a handy feature if you integrated Alexa with your smart home and want to control lights, play music, control appliances, or access other features while you're in another room or another town.

When controlling Alexa from your phone, there's no need for a wake word because you'll wake Alexa with the app.

The terms Alexa and Echo are often used interchangeably. However, Alexa is a voice assistant, and the Echo is a physical device. Alexa can be used with devices outside the Echo universe, including smart appliances that aren't made by Amazon.

How to Send Alexa Commands From a Smartphone

After you download and install the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android, here's how to control your Echo.

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

  2. Select OK to allow Alexa to use Bluetooth.

  3. Sign in to your Amazon account.

    Open the Alexa app and sign in
  4. On the setup screen, select your name, I'm Someone Else, or I'm Kids.

  5. Tap Allow to give Amazon contact and notification permissions.

    Tap Later to skip this part of the setup process.

  6. Tap Continue to teach Alexa your voice.

    Setting up the Alexa app
  7. Tap OK to let Alexa access the device's microphone.

  8. Follow the prompts to teach Alexa your voice.

  9. On the Voice Profile Created screen, tap Next.

    Setting up Alexa in the mobile app
  10. From the Home screen, tap Devices.

  11. Tap the plus sign to add a new Echo device.

  12. Tap Add Device and follow the prompts to set up the Echo. When the Echo is set up, you're ready to control it using the Alexa app.

    Adding a device to the Alexa app
  13. To issue commands with your voice, open the Alexa app, and tap the Alexa icon at the top of the screen. (It says Tap to talk to Alexa beneath the icon.)

  14. Tap Turn on to talk to Alexa hands-free on your device.

    If you haven't previously given Alexa access to your device's microphone, tap Allow.

  15. Tap Allow While Using App to enable hands-free voice communication with Alexa.

    Turn on Alexa in the app
  16. The Alexa app is ready to hear your voice commands. When you press the Alexa icon, you'll see a darker screen with a pulsating blue line. Speak into your smartphone as if you were talking to your Echo and issue a command.

  17. If you want to use the Amazon Alexa app to browse music or other audio content to play on the Echo device, from the Alexa app home screen, tap Play on the bottom of the screen.

  18. Tap a song or album from a connected music service, such as Amazon Music, or select an audiobook or other audio content. When the Play on pop-up menu appears, select the Echo. The music should begin playing on the Echo device.

  19. Scroll down and tap a new service to link it to the Alexa app to use it in the future.

    The Play button and Link New Services section