In this era of Personal Assistants, which is now at its peak point, the use of hands-on devices to perform the smallest tasks is unusual. Personal assistance such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are able to do everything you want, from playing songs to reading local news, Weather news, and even buy products over the Internet like what Alexa does when you use it to buy products through Amazon. In addition to these features, Amazon has introduced a feature called Alexa Calling and Messaging.
This feature enables Amazon Alexa users, whether through Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa app or even Amazon Echo accessories such as Echo Connect, to make and receive calls from any contacts on your phone connected to the device.
In this article, I will review the Alexa Calling and Messaging feature, and I will explain how to use this feature via the Amazon Alexa personal assistant. Follow the next lines.
Alexa Calling and Messaging
Alexa Calling and Messaging service
The feature is known as Alexa-to-Alexa Calling and Messaging, a free feature which is the best in addition to the fact that it does not need to subscribe to call plans but depends on the connection of the device to the Internet whether through Wi-Fi or through the Data Plans.
There are several types of connections that can be made with this feature:
- Alexa-to-Alexa connection: This is the type that enables you to make and receive calls between Amazon Echo devices that are compatible with this feature, and which meet the conditions of their work, or through Amazon Alexa App. With this feature, you can call anyone in your contact list who owns an Amazon Echo device, but only require that he activates the Alexa Calling feature in his device so that they can receive your call.
- Mobile or landline calling: With this feature, you can call any landline or mobile number in the US, Canada, and Mexico with compatible Amazon Echo devices. By mentioning the name of the contact person in your contact list or by saying the digits you want to contact as I will explain in the following paragraphs.
- Contact via the Amazon Alexa App: You can also make calls through the Amazon Alexa application available on Android and iOS by contacting your contacts. Whether they are mobile phones or landlines in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Where you can make calls with anyone who has an Amazon Alexa application or an Amazon Echo device, provided that they are subscribed to the Alexa Calling and Messaging feature.
- Making international calls: You can make international calls between Amazon Echo compatible with the service and the Amazon Alexa application, provided you are sure that the person you want to call via this feature is in one of the countries supported by it, As well as their subscription.
With this I have reached the end of the definition of the feature and services, I will now turn to what is required to use the service and then the first steps required to enjoy this wonderful feature, which is your subscribing in Alexa Calling and Messaging service.
Requirements for using the Alexa Calling service
- Amazon Echo Device: Fortunately, whatever your Amazon Echo device is, Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, you can call your friends who own an Amazon Echo and receive calls from them.
- Amazon Account and Service Subscription: You also need to create an Amazon account through the same Amazon site and of course subscribe to Alexa Calling.
- Mobile phone number: You need to have an active mobile phone number owned by you to confirm your account.
- Amazon Alexa application: You’ll also need to get the Amazon Alexa application on your mobile phone, an app that is available as i mentioned on iOS provided your iOS version is not older than iOS 9.0. And on Android systems provided you do not use an Android version older than Android 5.0.
Subscribe to Alexa Calling and Messaging
The steps to subscribe to the service and activate it are not so difficult, just follow the following steps.
- First, open the Amazon Alexa application on your phone, and you can download it using an Android or iOS devices.
- Second, open the Conversations tab from the bottom menu.
- Third, follow the instructions on the screen to reach the stage where you enter your phone number to confirm your subscription and ownership.
- Fourth, allow the app to access your contact list on your phone.
Then, Amazon Alexa application will recognize your contacts that has an Amazon account with Alexa Calling and Messaging service activated, and have an Amazon Echo device.
You can modify and add contacts that you can communicate with through the service through the application. And if you add a contact to your phone without adding it to the application and it owns an Amazon Echo device, and have a subscription in Alexa Calling service, the app will automatically recognize it and add it to the list of contacts that you can communicate with. So you can communicate with them through this service.
Make calls through Alexa Calling and Messaging
After you have completed the service subscription steps described in the previous lines, and after processing everything you need and know who you can contact with through the service, you are now ready to enjoy Alexa Calling and Messaging.
The process of using the service is as simple as anything you do on Amazon Echo devices with voice commands that rely on several key words such as Dial and Call, etc. I will review it in the following examples.
Before starting to mention the examples, it is important to know that you can contact the contacts by saying their name as you have saved in the address book, or you can call the numbers directly by saying the contact command and then the digits you want to call.
One of the features in the Amazon Alexa Personal Assistant is also the Voice Profile feature, a set of personal profiles that starts the device and executes commands through it as soon as the device hears your voice and recognizes it.
This feature is integrated with the Alexa Calling feature in that it identifies the user who gives the contact commands, and starts using his contact list to avoid making the mistake of calling the wrong person if more than one person is using the device, and saving more than one contact with the same name as My Wife for example.
Now, here are some examples of voice dialing commands.
When you communicate with another Amazon Echo device, all you have to do is say:
"Alexa, call (Donald)"
To make a call to a contact in your phone’s address book, here are some examples of commands:
"Alexa, call (John's) mobile" "Alexa, call (Chris) on his home phone" "Alexa, call (Brandon) at work" "Alexa, call (Mom's) office".
The words Mobile, Home Phone, Work, and Office are words that you personally record in your phone for each number.
It’s the same when you call someone by saying their number such as:
"Alexa, call [number]".
This is not all, this service is not limited to making calls, but you can receive and respond to calls by saying:
When you want to answer a call. You can also ignore one by saying:
Also, you can control the volume level by raising or lowering it by saying
"Alexa, turn the volume up / down."
To give you the full experience of not having to use your hands in answering, making and ignoring calls, Amazon also gave you the call termination feature by saying one of these commands:
"Alexa, hang up" "Alexa, end call".
When you receive a call from someone who has an Amazon Echo device and contacts you via Alexa Calling and Messaging service, your existing Amazon Echo devices will activate a green flash to alert you that someone is calling you, besides saying the name of the caller.
As for your phone, the Amazon Alexa screen will display a screen telling you that someone is calling, and that person’s ID card will appear according to their Alexa Calling data, with options to answer or ignore the call on the screen.
If you have more than one Amazon Echo device, and you get a call while using one of these devices to make a call, this new connection will be transferred to one of your other devices so that you can answer them in the same time.
This is all about making calls via voice commands through Amazon Echo devices. I will go through the following lines to the section for making these calls via the Amazon Alexa application on your phone.
Make calls through the Amazon Alexa application
You can also make and receive calls through the Amazon Alexa application on your phone, which is registered with your account and subscribed to the Alexa Calling and Messaging service.
All you have to do is follow these steps:
- First, open the Amazon Alexa application and then select the Conversations menu.
- Second, select the Contacts icon for the application to display the group of people you can communicate with via Alexa-to-Alexa.
- Third, select the contact you want to communicate with, and then click on the Phone icon to dial directly.
- To end the calls, there is an End button that will be on the display when you connect with someone.
If you have one of the Amazon Echo devices that has a screen like Amazon Echo Show or Amazon Echo Spot, and you try to connect to a friend who has one of these devices, you’ll see a Video icon, where you can make video calls together.
This was all about using the free Alexa Calling and Messaging feature available on Amazon Echo and the Amazon Alexa application, which enables you to make calls locally and internationally free of charge and by internet only.
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