How to Use Your Amazon Echo To Call and Message Friends

Amazon released a big new feature for its Echo devices, giving users the ability to call and message each other using their Echos or the Alexa app. Here’s how it works and how to set it up.

How to Set It Up

First, you’ll need to update the Alexa app to the latest version, so if you haven’t already, head to the app store on your phone and get the update. The version you’ll need is 2.0.2429, but anything newer than that will work as well.
Next, open up the Alexa app, and you’ll be greeted with an introduction to the new calling and messaging feature. Tap on “Get Started” at the bottom to continue.
On the next screen, select your name.
Confirm your name and then hit “Continue” at the bottom.
You’ll now need to give the Alexa app permission to access your phone’s contacts. This is how you’ll call and message other people using your Echo. Tap on “Allow” to continue.
Next, enter in your phone number to associate with your Echo and then tap “Continue”. Whenever someone from your phone’s contacts also sets up this feature on their Echo, they’ll automatically appear in the contacts list in the Alexa app.
After you enter in your phone number, you’ll be sent a verification code. Enter in that code on the next screen and hit “Continue”.
Once that’s done, you’ll be taken to the Conversations screen in the Alexa app. This is where all of your messages will appear, similar to the conversations screen within your phone’s default messaging app.
To access the list of contacts that you can call or message, tap on the person outline up in the top-right corner.
On this screen, you’ll see all of your contacts that have Echo calling and messaging set up.

How to Call Someone

There are two ways that you can call someone: using the Alexa app or going hands-free using an Echo device.
The former option is great if you’re not home and only have your phone on you. To call someone using the Alexa app, go to the contacts screen, select a contact, and tap on the phone button.
To make a call hands-free using your Echo, just say “Alexa, call Dave” (or whoever it is you want to call).
The recipient’s Echo will light up and make a chime noise, as well as announce who’s calling. Their phone will also ring, but they can answer your call on either device, either by saying “Alexa, answer call” or just accepting the call on their phone like a normal phone call.
To end the call, just say “Alexa, hang up”.

How to Message Someone

Just like with calling, there are two ways you can message another Alexa user: using the app or using an Echo device.
To message someone using the Alexa app, go to the contacts screen, select a contact, and tap on the message button.
This will start a new conversation page with that contact. From there, you can either tap on the microphone button to record a voice message or hit the keyboard button and type out a message.
To send a voice message to someone using your Echo, say “Alexa, message Dave” (or, again, whoever it us you want to message).
Once received, the recipient’s Echo will light up and make a chime noise, but Alexa won’t announce that there’s a message (unlike how she does when there’s a call). However, they’ll also receive a notification on their phone and can view or listen to the message within the Alexa app. They can also respond within the app as well.
From there, the recipient just has to say “Alexa, play message” and it will play your voice message. If you typed out your message instead, Alexa herself will transcribe it and say your message aloud using her own voice.