1-800-895-4728

North Dakota Assistive

ND Assistive | Assistive Technology Blog

Amazon Echo: Make a Call

For about a year, Assistive staff has been writing blog series on the Amazon Echo.  The most recent featured blog was on “Ask My Buddy” application for Echo users. 

By now, if we haven’t convinced individuals that the Amazon Echo is a powerful assistive technology (AT) device, one of their newer features will!

Not too long ago, Amazon added a phone-call feature to its line of Echo devices.  However, calls were limited to only calling other Echo devices (Alexa-to-Alexa).  Not anymore!  The Amazon Echo can now be used to call mobile contacts, and most landlines and mobile phones for free to the US, Canada, and Mexico.  No additional hardware is needed; however, the most updated/latest version of the Alexa app will be needed on a smart phone.

The fun part is the other end of the phone call will know an Echo device is being used to make a call.  The recipient will see it is coming from the user’s cell phone number.  There is an ability to opt out of sharing your number so the recipient will see the call is from an “unknown caller”.

Helpful Notes: 

·         Now Echo users can just tell their Echo to call anyone in their mobile contact list or speak out a specific number to dial.  Hands free!

·         If users have the same contacts in their Alexa app as in their phone contacts, a call will automatically default to calling the Echo/Alexa app if not otherwise clarified.  For example when just using, “Alexa, call John” it will default to their Echo. But if you say, “Alexa, call John’s mobile” it will call his cell number.

·         If a phone number is not in the phone’s contact list, the actual phone number can be spoken.  For example, “Alexa, call 333-333-3333” and it will dial that number.

·         An Echo cannot be used to call 911 unless an additional Echo accessory, Echo Connect is used.

·         If your Alexa app is only on a tablet and not on a smart phone, this calling feature will not work.

·         Echo users cannot receive regular (landline or VOIP) phone calls through the Echo.  However, I am sure this feature along with many others will be coming soon.

·         Learn more about Alexa in the Amazon Help website.

So, as Amazon continues to add a steady stream of features/capabilities to its Echo devices, it will make things easier for all.  And for people with disabilities it will make things possible!

“Alexa, call 800-895-4728”.  That’s the number for Assistive if you would like to learn more about AT or try AT, or ways to afford AT devices.

Further Reading

Amazon Echo Part 3: whats the difference between the Amazon Echo, Dot, and Tap?

Amazon came out with three amazing products, the Echo, Dot, and Tap that all have on thing in common - Alexa Voice Service. By activating the feature users access music, information, news, sports scores,...


Amazon Echo Part 2: Echo + IFTTT = A match made in the Internet of Things

In this blog series, we will explore the new AT star, Amazon Echo. It was released November of 2014 with huge assistive technology (AT) promise. Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker users control with...


Amazon Echo Part 4: Echo and Harmony, have you heard how well they work together?

Amazon came out with three amazing products, the Echo, Dot, and Tap that all have on thing in common – Alexa Voice Service. By activating the feature users access music, information, news, sports scores,...


Amazon Echo Part 1: a consumer product with huge assistive technology potential!

The assistive technology (AT) world rejoices when a consumer product is released with big AT potential. Price, access, and reliable technical support are just a few of many reasons why consumer products...


Leave a Reply