Alexa has become increasingly popular among customers who use features like Drop In and video calling to stay connected with friends and family in Australia. Now, Amazon is introducing a new way for customers to stay in touch with loved ones by introducing Alexa-to-phone calling. This is a feature that already exists in the U.S for some time if I’m not mistaken, but not Australia yet. This has now changed.
Australian customers can now make free calls from their Echo device to mobile and landline numbers in Australia, even if the recipient doesn’t own an Alexa device. Customers will also soon be able to assign an emergency contact for Alexa to call and send SMS messages to when the user asks for help.
Kate Gooden, Head of Product, Amazon Alexa ANZ, said, “Alexa users around the world have used Alexa-to-phone calling to stay connected socially. We’re proud to bring this to Australia, but I’m especially excited about how this will help older Australians with a device at home.”
To set up calling, customers can follow these steps:
- Download the latest version of the Alexa app and sign in on their mobile phone.
- Select Communicate at the bottom of the app.
- Add and verify their mobile phone number and grant permissions for calling and messaging.
- Import their mobile phone’s contact list when prompted or add contacts individually via the Communicate page in the app.
Customers can add up to 10 contacts via the Alexa app or these will be added as calls are placed. They can then dial their friends and family hands-free. As they place calls to phone numbers, Alexa will automatically add up to 10 contacts to their Alexa-to-phone contacts list. Once they’ve verified their phone number and place a call, their contacts will see their mobile number on their phone, with calls made via a Wi-Fi connection.
Customers can use the following commands to make calls with Alexa:
- “Alexa, call Ben’s mobile”
- “Alexa, message Mum”
- “Alexa, send Grandma a hug”
Alexa-to-phone calling is part of the suite of existing Alexa Communication features, including Drop Ins, Announcements, and Alexa-to-Alexa calling. Customers can use Drop In to create an instant connection to other Alexa devices in their household or their contacts, like a two-way intercom. Announcements allow them to share a quick one-way voice message to their other devices. With Alexa-to-Alexa calling, they can make and receive voice and video calls between Alexa devices (or the Alexa app).