How to Control Amazon Echo by Phone

Not near your Echo? Use your phone to communicate

control alexa from smartphone
 Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices such as the Echo line of products are controlled by your voice, reacting to commands whenever they hear the name 'Alexa' (or other moniker if you've customized yours). While these popular gadgets tend to hear even the most soft-spoken person in the room, there is a limit to how far away you can be before they stop acknowledging your speech.

In cases like this, you can access Alexa from your Android or iOS smartphone, allowing you to utilize the virtual assistant even when you're not at home.

This can come in handy if you've integrated Alexa with your smart home and would like to switch your lights on and off or remotely control other appliances, or perhaps you just want to use one of its many useful features while in another room or even in another town.

Control Alexa from iOS

Take the following steps to control Amazon Echo from your iPhone.

  1. If it's not already on your phone, download and install the Amazon shopping app, not to be confused with the Alexa app which you used to set up your Echo device initially.
  2. Launch the Amazon app.
  3. Sign in to your Amazon account, if necessary.
  4. Tap the microphone icon, located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. In future app sessions, this microphone icon may be replaced by the Alexa button (a speech balloon inside of a circle).
  5. You'll now be prompted to try Alexa. Follow the on-screen instructions to continue.
  6. Select the Tap to speak button if it appears, found towards the bottom of the screen.
  1. A pop-up iOS dialog may appear, informing you that the Amazon app is requesting access to your phone's microphone. Tap OK.
  2. Once Alexa is ready to hear your command or question, the screen will become darker and a pulsating blue line will appear at the bottom of your screen. You'll also see a sample text prompt, such as Just ask, "Alexa order dog food". Simply speak into your iPhone at this point as if you were talking to your Echo device.

    Control Alexa from Android

    Take the following steps to control Alexa from your Android smartphone.

    1. Launch the Alexa app, not the Amazon shopping app as mentioned above in the iOS instructions. This is the same app that you used when you first set up your Echo device.
    2. Tap the Alexa icon, represented by a speech balloon inside of a circle and located at the bottom of your screen.
    3. Select the ALLOW button to grant the Alexa app access to your device's microphone.
    4. Tap Done.
    5. At this point Alexa is ready for your commands or questions. Simply tap the Alexa icon again and speak into your smartphone as if you were talking to your Echo device.

    Why Different Apps?

    You might wonder why Android and iOS use different apps to control Alexa and the Echo. The Alexa app–on iOS or Android–is used for the following purposes:

    1. Setting up Echo or other Alexa-enabled device(s)
    2. Viewing Alexa (Echo or otherwise) history, both recorded and textual
    3. Suggest commands/skills to try with Alexa
    4. Set up Alexa so that it can access a phone's contacts, which is necessary to make phone calls or send messages through an Alexa device
    5. Configure reminders and alarms for your various Alexa-enabled devices
    6. Modify a multitude of Alexa-related settings

      It just so happens that on Android you can also utilize Alexa itself (speaking actual commands) through the Alexa app. On iOS, this feature is not included in the Alexa app and must be accessed via Amazon's Shopping app. As to why remains an Amazon mystery.

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