How to Make Calls Through Your Echo Using Amazon's Alexa

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

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 Amazon Echo or another 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 way 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 Plus, for instance, or a Dot) and have the latest version of the Alexa app installed on your phone.

There's an alternative, too. You can also use the Amazon Echo Connect with your home phone line to have the same capabilities as if you are using a different Echo device. 

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Connect Alexa to Your Phone: Get the Alexa App

Screenshot of Alexa app on phone

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 get the Android version or the iPhone version.

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

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Confirm Your Number

Hand holding phone with Alexa App icon


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

Alexa app screenshot

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

Alexa call screenshot

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

Amazon Dots on table

Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

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.

This feature is only going to get better. Amazon has said it plans to eventually add the ability to call specific Echo devices rather than all of them at once. That means that one day you could leave a message on the Dot in your kid’s room rather than in the whole house, or place a call to your husband’s office Echo rather than ringing the Dots in the kitchen and living room as well.

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