Alexa Calling
iPads can now make video calls to Amazon Echo devices.
Photo: Amazon



Although
people most often use Alexa to ask about the weather or play
music, Amazon’s smart assistant is capable of much more,
including connecting with friends and family.  A
convenient Alexa calling feature is now available on a range
of tablets, including the iPad. This allows the tablet to
make voice or video calls to an Amazon Echo.

All that is required is the
Amazon Alexa app for iOS (and giving Alexa access to
your list of contacts).

“With the Alexa App, you can call and message Amazon Echo
device owners and anyone with the Alexa App on their phone,”
Amazon says in the App Store description of the app. “When
you’re away from home, use the app to make a quick call or
send a message to your family’s Echo. “


Echo
devices can make calls to landlines. However, the Alexa app
is currently limited to calling other gadgets with Alexa.
Everything takes place over Wi-Fi, so you do not need
cellular access (or to burn minutes on your data plan). You
can make video calls if the receiving device has a screen,
like the Echo Spot or the Echo Show.


When
using an Echo device, all that’s necessary to make a call is
to say, for example, “Alexa, call Mom.” The process with an
iPad is more complex.


To make an
Alexa call on iPad, first open the Alexa app.
Then go to the Conversations menu and tap on
the Contacts icon to bring up a list of
available people. To make the connection, hit the
Call button (or the Video
button if available).


Or just
use Alexa Drop In feature on iPad


Amazon
also points out that users of the Alexa app can also use the
service’s
Drop In feature. “Use Drop In to instantly connect with
your Alexa devices to … call home or to let the family know
it’s time for dinner,” Amazon says.


Drop In
allows an Echo to work like a walkie-talkie, making voice
calls that connect automatically. An iPad can make these
calls but not receive them.

All of these Alexa Calling features are free to use, as is
the Amazon Alexa iOS app.

This assumes you haven’t locked your Echo in a drawer after

Alexa terrified you with her creepy laugh.

 



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