How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (2024)

How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (1)

As well as playing music, answering questions and controlling your smart home – among many, many other things – smart speakers and smart displays can also be used to make free phone calls.

When it comes to Alexa there are several different types of calls on offer. Amazon’s voice assistant can start a call between two compatible Amazon Echo devices (and a video call between Echo Show smart displays with cameras), as well as call mobiles and landlines, and create group calls too.

It is also possible to send messages between Echo devices and between them and the Alexa smartphone app on iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire devices. The system is called Alexa Calling and Messaging, and it is available internationally, although free calls to mobiles and landlines from Alexa devices are only offered in the US, UK, Canada, and Mexico, as of late-2021.

Alexa also has a feature called drop-in. This can be used between two or more Alexa devices in the same home, or between the Alexa devices or you and a contact. Dropping in effectively turns Alexa speakers into intercoms, where a live audio connection is established between the two. This can be handy for checking in on someone in another room of your home or speaking to a relative without calling them. Both parties need to enable Drop-in for it to work, as the call starts right away, and doesn’t need to be accepted by the receiving party.

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How to set up calling and messaging in the Alexa app

Open the Alexa smartphone app and tap on the Communicate icon in the lower-left corner of the screen. This brings up a page showing all the ways you can use the Alexa app to communicate with your contacts and Alexa devices, such as calling, messaging, dropping in, and announcing. Contacts are imported from your smartphone, and you may need to grant the Alexa app permission to do this before you get started if you haven’t done so already.

From here, it’s easy to tap Call then find a contact, tap on their name, and use the app to call their phone or start an audio or video call with their Alexa device. Contacts with an Alexa device that can be called have a blue checkmark next to their name.

These phone calls are made (and messages sent) using your Alexa app’s internet connection. They are labeled as coming from your name (or the name you use with your Alexa account), and not from your mobile phone number. They also do not come out of your mobile call, message, or data plan, as they use the Wi-Fi and the web, not your phone’s cellular connection.

How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (2)

How to make calls with a voice command

It’s also possible to make a call by speaking to your Alexa devices, such as an Echo smart speaker or Echo Show smart display. Making a call is as simple as saying: “Alexa, call…” then the contact’s name, and whether you want to call their mobile landline, or Echo device. This works with any Amazon Echo device connected to your Amazon account, so you can make hands-free calls whenever you are in earshot of the Echo device.

Phrases used to call a contact or group can include:

To create and manage your calling groups, open the Alexa app and tap the Communicate button, then tap the contacts icon in the top-right corner. Now tap on the icon with three dots, also in the top-right, and from here you can add a contact or group. Once a group is created and named, you can use Alexa to call all of the group’s members at once.

You can also call numbers that aren’t already in your contacts book, simply by reading them out after the “Alexa, call…” instruction. However, there are some limitations here. You cannot use Alexa to call emergency or premium-rate numbers, and you can only call numbers in the US, UK, Canada and Mexico.

It's possible to call more than one person at a time, thanks to Alexa's ability to make group calls on an Amazon Echo, as well.

How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (3)

Can your Amazon Echo receive phone calls?

Yes, but there are some limitations here too. Your Alexa devices (and Alexa app) can receive calls from contacts in the same way as explained above. In other words, contacts who call you using their own Alexa device.

But for some people it’s also possible to make a receive call with Alexa, using your mobile phone number. In the UK this is limited to EE customers and Vodafone customers who have a Red account. Once set up, incoming calls to your mobile phone will ring your Alexa devices as well as your phone, and similarly, you can place calls from your phone number by speaking to Alexa on an Echo speaker or display.

This is all free to set up and use, and calls made come out of your existing monthly allowance (which for most EE and Vodafone red customers will be unlimited anyway). Unlike regular calling with Alexa, this system lets you make emergency calls and dial premium numbers by speaking to Alexa.

Lastly, it is worth pointing out that calls sent to your Echo devices can also be answered via the Alexa smartphone app. That way, someone calling by speaking to their Echo can get hold of you whether you are near your own Echo speaker or not.

How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (4)

What about Alexa Messaging?

You can also send SMS messages hands-free with your Echo device. Simply say “Alexa, send a message”, and Alexa will ask for the name of the recipient. Once you’ve given Alexa the contact, you’ll be asked for the content of the message after which you can dictate what you want your SMS to say. Once you’re done, Alexa will send the message to your contact.

It’s also possible to do this using the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet. Just open the app and select the Conversations button.

Select the name of the person you want to send the message to and hold down the microphone icon to dictate your message. You can also do this the old-fashioned way by typing on your devices keyboard if you wish.

This doesn’t send messages to their phone directly – it will be sent to the recipient’s Echo speaker and Alexa app on their smartphone.

When they receive a message, the light on their Echo will flash yellow – to hear the message, they just need to say “play message”. They’ll also receive a notification on their smartphone or tablet via the Alexa app, where they can play the contents if they’re away from their Echo speaker.

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How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (5)

Alistair Charlton

Alistair Charlton is a freelance technology and automotive journalist based in London. His career began with a stint of work experience at TechRadar back in 2010, before gaining a journalism degree and working in the industry ever since. A lifelong car and tech enthusiast, Alistair writes for a wide range of publications across the consumer technology and automotive sectors. As well as reviewing dash cams for TechRadar, he also has bylines at Wired, T3, Forbes, Stuff, The Independent, SlashGear and Grand Designs Magazine, among others.

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How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo (2024)


How to use Alexa to make phone calls on an Amazon Echo? ›

If the contact has multiple numbers—one for home and another for work—you can specify the number to dial. Say "Alexa, call [name of contact] mobile," or "Alexa, call [name of contact] work." If you are calling someone not in your contact list, just say "Alexa, call [phone number]."

Can you make phone calls with Alexa Echo? ›

Did you know you can use Alexa to call and message others? Amazon's Alexa calling and messaging feature enables you to make and receive calls, as well as send messages between Echo devices, the Amazon Alexa app for iOS and Android, and Fire tablets. It's a neat way to contact family and friends.

How do I set up Alexa Echo to make calls? ›

Set Up Calling and Messaging
  1. Open the Alexa app .
  2. Open Communicate .
  3. Verify your mobile phone information, and then grant permissions for calling and messaging.
  4. Optional: Import your mobile phone's contact list when prompted.

Who pays for Alexa phone calls? ›

Once the service is set up, you can make calls via Alexa to a mobile number or receive calls without holding your phone. "Alexa, call James Smith on his mobile". There are no additional costs for you when making calls via OneNumber Calling.

Why can't my Alexa call a phone number? ›

You can solve most calling issues by: Confirming your device is connected to the Internet. Making sure that you have the latest version of the Alexa app. Using the Alexa app to verify that Alexa heard you correctly.

Can you make phone calls with Alexa without a smartphone? ›

Yes, you can use Alexa to dial a specific telephone number by saying Alexa, call 555-555-5555 (for instance), without needing a mobile phone.

Can Alexa call another Alexa in the same house? ›

Having multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home also gives you the ability to use them as intercoms around the house. If you go into settings in the browser or Alexa App, you can name your devices according to the room they're in to make it simple to call that room.

What happens if you say Alexa call 911? ›

Alexa's Capabilities and Limitations During an Emergency

Alexa cannot directly call 911. It requires additional add-ons. Alexa can call phone numbers in your contact list, including emergency contacts. Alexa can activate emergency-related skills like Ask My Buddy or SOS Family.

Can Alexa receive text messages? ›

You can use your voice to send and read text messages with Alexa. Echo Auto (1st Gen) Text messaging is supported with Android only. Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Text messaging is supported on iOS and Android.

Why won't my phone connect to my Echo? ›

Make Sure Bluetooth Is Enabled on Your Phone

If Bluetooth is not enabled on your phone, it will not be able to connect or communicate to your Echo device. To activate Bluetooth on both iOS and Android, open Settings, scroll down until you find Bluetooth, and then tap on it.

Can Alexa find my phone when its on silent? ›

But what if you lose your smartphone while it's on silent? If you're an Android user, then it's good news: there's an IFTTT applet that can unsilence your silenced Android device, ready for you to trigger a subsequent Find My Phone-style applet or service.

Can someone else connect to my Alexa? ›

To use Guest Connect, you need an Alexa account, your Alexa voice ID setup, phone ID on Android phones or Bluetooth on iPhones, and notifications turned on. Guest Connect must be turned on the Echo Device you're trying to connect to. To get started, activate Guest Connect under Your Profile in the Alexa app Settings.

Does it cost anything to make a call from Alexa? ›

With Alexa Communication, you can: Make calls to Alexa contacts. Make calls to groups of Alexa contacts. Make calls to mobile and landline numbers (in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Mexico) at no additional cost.

What Alexa devices can make phone calls? ›

Echo-to-phone voice calls are possible on all Echo devices and most mobile and landline numbers in the US, UK, Canada and Mexico. Like Echo-to-Echo calls, connecting an Echo device and a phone is possible through simple voice commands.

Do you have to pay a monthly bill for Alexa? ›

Alexa doesn't have a subscription cost. You only need an Alexa-compatible Echo or third-party device.

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