How To Make Calls Using Amazon's Alexa

Your Amazon Echo is the home phone you've always wanted

By now, you’ve probably ditched your home phone. With the prevalence of smartphones, having a home phone that’s stuck to a stationary location doesn’t tend to make a ton of sense. At least not until your phone is running low on battery and you need to make a call, or you leave it downstairs charging, missing your daughter’s call while you’re upstairs.

If you both have an Echo or other Alexa device, then that call doesn’t have to come through your phone, it can come through your Echo instead. Calls through your Alexa-powered device are fun, easy to do, and can be the perfect way to avoid missing important calls.

Even better, placing calls through your Alexa-powered device can be an easy ways for you to have a quick conversation with a friend while you’re in the middle of something – cooking dinner, for example – and don’t want to get your phone dirty with marinara.

Making calls just requires both you and the person you’re calling have both an Alexa device (an Echo or a Dot) and have the latest version of the Alexa app installed on your phone.

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Get the Alexa App

That app part of actually a pretty critical piece of the puzzle. You’ll need it before you can actually do any of the other steps in this how to, as will anyone you want to call.

If you don’t have the latest version of the app installed on your iPhone or Android device, take a minute to visit the App Store or Google Play and check. You can find the Android version here, and the iPhone version here.

Now’s the time to nag your parents, best friend, sister, and neighbor to get to updating.

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Confirm Your Number

Once you get the newest version of the app, you’ll be prompted to confirm your phone number within it. This is a super easy process, and just involves typing in your phone number and then entering in a short 6-digit code that Amazon will text you just to make sure the phone number is yours.

If you have two-factor authentication set up on something like your email account, then this is roughly the same process.

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Discover Who You Can Talk To

Open the Alexa app, and then tap the chat bubble button that’s at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve tapped that chat bubble button, tap the person icon that’s at the top of the page in the upper-righthand corner.

Tapping that will bring up a list of people that have their contact information saved in your phone that have also have updated their Alexa app. In order for this to work, a person has to be saved in your phone as a contact and have an updated version of the Alexa app running on their phone – this list will likely be shorter than your entire contacts list, so pay attention to whom you can actually contact.

To call anyone on that list, just tap his or her name. You can also ask Alexa to call someone by simply saying their name. For instance, you can say “Alexa, call Bob!”

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Answer Calls On Your Phone Or Echo

Once you’ve placed a call, the person you’re trying to reach will have their phone ring, as well as any Echo devices they have associated with their account.

So, if you call your mom, her iPhone will ring but so will the Echo in her kitchen. If you’re the one receiving a call, you simply say “Alexa Answer” in order to have Alexa answer the phone. When you’re done chatting, you’ll say ‘Alexa, hang up” to end the conversation.

Want to leave a message instead of calling? Simply say “Alexa, send a message to Bob” to create a voicemail for your friend or family member.

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When You Miss a Call Through Alexa

If you miss a call, or someone decides to leave you a message, your Echo device will glow green. When you want to hear a message, just say “Alexa, play my messages.”

In addition to offering in-app playback of your voicemail, the Alexa app will also transcribe your voicemails for you, so you can read a (computer-generated and possibly not super accurate) transcription of the message rather than listening to it.