What started as a wireless experience has now turned into a voice-only necessity. People crave hands-free communication with their loved ones. Thankfully, Amazon’s Alexa has given humanity this feature, and we can’t get enough of it! However, when it comes to calls, we can use Alexa to make calls but do we need to have our cell phone nearby to do so?
No, you don’t need to have your cell phone to make calls with Alexa! It can make calls for you all on its own. However, you will need a cell phone or a tablet to set up Alexa before you can make calls.
Enabling Calling & Messaging on Alexa
To make calls via Alexa, users must first enable the feature from the Alexa app.
- Open the Alexa app from your cell phone or tablet.
- Open the Communicate tab.
- Follow the steps and verify your information. On prompt, give it permission for calling and messaging.
- You can also import your contacts list to Alexa. This will allow you to call anyone from your contacts via Alexa.
Keep in mind that you only need a cell phone for the initial setup. After that, Alexa will only require an active internet connection to make calls.
Calling another Alexa from your Alexa
Alexa can make calls to your friend’s Alexa if it detects its presence in the contact list. All you have to say is, “Alexa, call Contact Name, ” which will connect a call to your friend’s Alexa.
If your contact has an Alexa system at home, your Alexa will make a call to the other Alexa by default. The call will not go to the person’s cellphone unless their Alexa is not connected to the internet for some reason.
Calling a phone number
Not everyone has an Alexa system at home, and that’s completely fine. You can still call them with your Alexa. The command remains the same, “Alexa, call Contact Name,” and Alexa will make a call to their cell phone.
You can also command Alexa to call a specific number that may or may not be on your contact list. You simply have to dictate the number to Alexa in the exact format.
Limitations of Alexa calling a phone number
Alexa may provide hassle-free communication to its customers; however, there are some limitations to its calling:
- No emergency numbers: Alexa cannot directly dial emergency numbers like 911. It does give an option to save an emergency contact in Alexa settings. Commanding it to call the emergency number will get you through to your pre-saved emergency contact.
- No 900-numbers: It cannot make calls to 900-numbers (premium rate).
- No international numbers: International numbers outside US, UK, Canada, and Mexico won’t be successful.
- No “dial by letter” numbers: Alexa can’t recognize numbers that have letters at the end, aka “dial by letter” numbers. However, if you dictate the exact numbers instead of the letters, it will connect you successfully.
- No abbreviated three-digit numbers: It won’t work with abbreviated three-digit numbers like 211 or 411.
Calls via Echo Show
This alternative is excellent for people who aren’t very good at using cell phones. Echo Show looks like a digital bedside clock with a screen. It is easy to use, especially for older people.
Setting up Echo Show is similar to setting up Alexa for calling.
- Connect your Echo Show to your home’s WiFi network.
- Save the contacts that are already saved on your phone.
- Verify the code received and set Echo Show as the Alexa device.
- Now, you will receive calls on the Echo Show, which can also be video calls.
Drop In is a relatively new feature that works with multiple Echo devices inside the house. It acts as an intercom for members of a family. You can use this feature to check up on your kids or as your husband if the dinner is ready!
To use Drop In, ensure that Alexa-to-Alexa calling is enabled from all Echo devices in the house. You will also be asked to “Allow Drop In” from your profile when used for the first time.
Drop In calls do not need to be received – they connect automatically with the target device. You just have to say, “Alexa, drop in on device name“, and you will be instantly connected. You can also Drop In on all the devices simultaneously by saying, “Alexa, drop in on all devices.”
Final thoughts on whether Alexa calling requires a cell phone
Alexa has been a lifesaver for us in more ways than we can imagine. It can make calls without you ever picking up the phone. However, even Alexa has limitations. Since Alexa won’t call 911, you are strongly advised to choose a reliable person as your emergency contact. For the rest of the chit-chat, use Alexa at will.