News, Setup and and usage
Great news! At the start of October 2017 Amazon released voice drop-in’s and voice calling to their Alexa service in the UK. This now means that you can use your Echo devices like an intercom system, and simply say “Alexa drop in on (device name e.g bedroom)” and you will be able to speak through your device to anyone in that room. Along with this you are also able to call other users of the Alexa service. This connects through your mobile phone, and you can say “Alexa call (contact name e.g. Harry)” and this will ring on both their echo device and their mobile phone.
Make sure you have the latest version of the Alexa app, then setup of the service is a quick and relatively straight forward one.
Next time you access your Alexa app you should be greeted by this message. Simply click on get started.
You will then have the option to choose who you are, this is ultimately the user of the phone you are setting this up from, it gives the option of the account holder, or someone else. The grayed out ones below are users that have already connected on your account. Simply select you user and continue.
You should then enter the phone number of the phone you are setting this up from, and tap continue.
You will then receive a text message to your phone with the verification number. Enter this verification number where it says enter code and tap continue.
Great you’re all set up!
Ongoing settings and usage
Operation from your echo
To use this new function you would use these commands:
“Alexa, drop in on (device name)” – this will generate a green ring around your device, and beep at the other end and generate a green ring around the receiving device. The moment the receiving echo device hears sound, you will be able to speak to each other.
“Alexa call (contact name)” – this will call both their Alexa device and their mobile phone. On the receiving device they will see the green ring and hear the beep, along with a message saying “(your name) would like to talk” To answer, the recipient would need to say “Alexa answer”
“Alexa send a message to (contact name)” – this will allow you to leave a voice message for any of your contacts. Once you have sent the message the recipient would need to say, “Alexa listen to my messages” and they would hear your message in your voice as you left it. They will also get a notification on their phone and from the Alexa app as discussed below.
Operation from the App
At the bottom of your Alexa app you will see a new icon
Tap this and you will see the new screen for calling and messages.
In the top right of the app you will now see the new contacts and messaging icons.
Tap on either of these and they pretty much go to the same place, which is a list of your contacts, and will allow you to select who you would like to start a conversation with.
Once you click on an individual you have multiple options, from contact via voice, text, video call, or drop in.
When you receive a message you will get a notification to your phone.
Managing each device
If you navigate to settings, and select a single device name you will see this screen.
Here you are able to control whether this particular device allows drop in’s from your family, from your friend’s or not at all.