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Here's how to make phone calls using Amazon's Alexa

Phoning a friend has never been easier.

How to make calls using Amazon Alexa Credit: Amazon

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The most common way to call someone is using a smartphone, but did you know that Amazon’s Alexa can also ring your friends and family?

With an Amazon Echo speaker, like our favorite, the Echo (third-generation), you can buzz your besties, parents, and anyone in your contact list.

Before you can place a call using Alexa, you must have a valid Amazon account and a mobile phone number.

You also need the Amazon Alexa app, which is free to download for iOS and Android devices. And make sure to verify your phone number and other details in the Communicate section of the app. Now you’re ready to make calls using Alexa—here’s how to do it.

How to make calls using your Amazon Echo speaker

Echo third generation
Credit: Amazon

The Amazon Alexa app is required to set up Alexa Calling on your Echo speakers.

With an Amazon Echo speaker, you can make calls to your contacts using your voice. For example, you can say things like, "Hey Alexa, call [name's] phone," or, "Alexa, call [name's] office." Alexa uses your phone number to call your contact’s landline or cell phone number.

Additionally, you can use Alexa-to-Alexa calling to ring a friend’s Echo speaker when you say, "Alexa, call [name's] Echo." If you have a video display like the Echo Show or the Echo Show 5, you can make video calls using Alexa or Skype.

You don’t need to say anything special to make a video call versus a voice call. If you’re using an Alexa-enable video display, it will default as a video call when you say, “Alexa, call [contact’s name].” However, the person you are calling must also have a video-enabled Alexa device or a smartphone or tablet with the Amazon Alexa app installed.

When you’re done using your Echo speaker to chat say, “Alexa, hang up.”

It's important to note that Alexa Calling can't dial 911, three-digit numbers (such as 211), premium rate or toll numbers, or dial-by-letter numbers. Alexa Calling also does not support international numbers outside of the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico.

But, if you have an Echo Connect, you can sync your landline with an Alexa-enabled device to place and accept calls from all international, premium rate, and emergency numbers.

How to make calls using the Amazon Alexa app

Alexa app
Credit: Getty / Canbedone

In addition to any Echo speaker, you can also make calls using the Amazon Alexa app.

The second way you can make calls using Alexa is by using Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.

Open the Amazon Alexa app and tap the Communicate icon in the bottom left of your screen. Then, click the phone icon at the top of the page to open up your contacts list. Select the name of the contact you would like to call and their phone will begin to ring.

Alexa Calling troubleshooting

Having trouble making calls? There are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem.

First, make sure your Echo speaker or display is connected to your WiFi. Second, check to see if there is an update for the Amazon Alexa app. You need to have the latest version installed to use Alexa Calling. Third, repeat the call command to make sure Alexa heard you correctly. If the call still won't go through, verify that your contact information is accurate.

Still have issues? Reach out to Amazon for additional help.

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