Ever since the advent of Alexa, Amazon has continued to add more innovative and exciting features to its smart devices. For example, the latest drop-in feature allows Alexa users to use the device as a broadcasting system in the house. You can use it to make announcements to your home speakers and even join in on a conversation in the other room with your family. But can you drop in on Alexa without them knowing? Read on to find out!
Can you drop in on Alexa without them knowing?
While Alexa allows you to perform many exciting functions, it does not enable you to drop into a conversation silently. When Alexa is connected to an enabled device, it flashes a green light non-stop along with a distinct ringing noise that cannot be turned off.
The ringing and flashing continue till the drop-in is disconnected, making sure everybody is aware of the connected devices to Alexa.
What is the drop-in feature?
The drop-in feature allows you to use Alexa in your home or office like an intercom. Once the person sitting in the other room or floor allows your device to connect to their Alexa-enabled smart speakers or smartphone, you can hear everything on your end. Depending on the device connected, you can communicate back and forth as well.
What does dropping in on Alexa exactly mean?
Dropping-In on Alexa is basically an optional feature that allows Alexa-enabled devices to communicate with each other. In other words, it allows the user to connect instantly to Alexa-enabled devices.
For example, if someone is working on their chores in the basement and the other person in the kitchen wants to send them a message. If both rooms have Alexa devices, the person in the kitchen can say “Alexa, drop in on the garage” and will be able to communicate with the concerned individual immediately. Furthermore, Drop-In also works via the Alexa mobile app.
How do you secretly drop in on Alexa?
One of the main reasons Alexa’s Drop-In feature stands out from regular intercom calls is that you do not have to answer an incoming drop-in. Yes, it connects automatically with Alexa-enabled devices. While this feature may be intended to make the use of the device quick and convenient, it can also cause a bit of trouble if not used with caution.
Imagine you are sitting in your room having a heated discussion with a friend or significant other, and your grandmother drops in on Alexa and gets a good listen of everything. How embarrassing!
In order to avoid such mishaps and many others, you need to understand the possibilities and limitations of the feature fully. Here are all your questions about the Alexa Drop-in feature answered:
How to use Alexa Drop-in?
Enabling the drop-in feature on your Alexa-enabled devices is relatively simple. Just follow the following steps:
STEP 1: Download the Amazon Alexa app
One of the first steps to setting up Alexa in your home is downloading the Amazon Alexa App on your phone or tablet. You can get the app from Google Play Store or App Store.
STEP 2: Allow access
Once you have the app downloaded, you can set it up by following the prompts and instructions on the screen. These include verifying your name, contacts, and phone number via SMS.
STEP 3: Select device
The next thing to do is to select the device you want to set up for the drop-in feature, assuming you already have an Echo device in your home. You can do this by going to the “Settings” in the app.
STEP 4: Enable Drop-in
Once you have your desired device’s name displayed on the screen, you can click “Drop-In” and turn the feature on.
STEP 5: Select “My Household Only”
Lastly, you will need to ensure that your Drop-In feature does not enable any of your neighbors to sneak into your home through your devices. Enable the “My Household Only” feature, which makes sure your phone/device only connects to the Echo devices in your home and does not allow any outsiders.
STEP 6: Name your devices (Optional)
Another cool feature the echo devices offer is customized names for all of your devices. That is, if you have echo devices in every room in your house, you can name them accordingly. Tap on “Settings” in the Alexa App and edit the names of each connected device separately.
What to do after the initial setup?
Once the initial setup is done, you are pretty much ready to use your device’s drop-in feature at your convenience. Just give Alexa the verbal command, and she will drop into your desired device.
For example, if you wish to connect to the Echo speaker in your kitchen, you will say, “Alexa, Drop-in on the kitchen” (given that you have the device named appropriately.)
Dropping-in outside your home
You can also drop in on a contact outside your home, given that they have permitted you. For example, if you wish to connect to your mom, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, drop in on mom”, and your device will connect to your mom’s echo device regardless of where she is located.
Read this article to find out what the red ring means on Alexa!
Another cool feature is the Alexa Announcements. This can be used as an intercom to make broadcast announcements in your home. However, it does not allow for two-way communication. Use commands like “tell everyone” or “announce” to make your thoughts known to the whole household.
How to disable Drop-in on Alexa?
Using the Alexa app, you can disable the drop-in feature to keep the prying eyes away. Here’s what you need to do:
- Launch the Alexa app and select the Devices icon.
- Then, select your device.
- Once in the fly-in menu, go to the Device Settings. The Device Settings window contains a menu list of all your Alexa-connected devices.
- Swipe through the list and select the device by tapping on it. This will open a new window for the settings of that particular Echo.
- To access the Disable Drop-In option, you will have to swipe down again and choose Communication located under the General tab. Tap it for more options.
- Now, you get to choose from three different options.
- Choose the My Household option to only allow the devices connected to your account to Drop-in.
- However, if you wish to completely disable drop-in, you will need to swipe down and select ‘Off‘.
Disabling Drop-in for specific contacts
To disable Drop-In for specific contacts only, follow the steps below:
- Launch the Alexa app on your phone and tap on the Communicate option at the bottom.
- Next, click on the People icon in the screen’s top right corner.
- Select the contact you wish to remove by tapping it.
- Then, click on Edit in the upper-right hand corner.
- Swipe down and tap Delete Contact.
When you drop in on Alexa, can they hear you?
As sneaky as you might wish to be, you cannot drop in on someone secretly through Alexa. Whenever a device is executing the drop-in feature, it makes a distinct ringing sound and flashes a green light continuously, which is hard to miss.
Ever since the introduction of these smart devices in 2017, customers have been vocal about their concerns for their privacy. Therefore, the manufacturer has left no stone unturned in their quest to ensure the most excellent customer satisfaction through the many safety warnings in case of an Alexa drop-in.
Here is how you can play SoundCloud on Alexa!
How to know if someone is dropping in on your Alexa?
If someone is Dropping-In on your Alexa, your device will begin producing a distinct sound. This will alert everyone that a Drop-In has started. This ring or sound will last for 2-3 seconds. Even though you can decrease the volume by using the volume button on the device, but it cannot be shut off completely.
The next thing you will notice is that the Alexa-enabled device will begin to glow green. If the device is Echo Dot, the light will continue flashing while the Drop-In takes place. But if the device is Echo Show, the light will pulse in a straight line.
And finally, once the Drop-In has ended, the device will produce a chime sound to indicate that the session has ended.
Why does my Alexa turn on randomly?
Anytime your Alexa lights up, it could mean a low-battery notification, a drop-in, a notification, or even a firmware update. The smart echo device can be pretty unnerving when you are unaware of the many features it comes with.
Be assured; there is an answer to every question you have about the device and its multiple lights and sounds. Here are the most common colors that show up randomly and what they mean:
- The blue light: The device shows a blue light whenever it has taken in a command and is currently processing the request.
- The yellow light: The device showing a yellow light simply means you have an unread message or a missed notification.
- The red light: The color red means you are pressing the camera or microphone button to turn it on or off. It can also show an error with communication with the device.
- The green light: A pulsating green light indicates an incoming call, and a spinning green light means you are currently on an active call. Plus, a flashing green light refers to a drop-in.
- The purple light: A purple light could mean two things; a problem with your Wi-Fi setup or the fact that your “Do Not Disturb” feature is turned on.
- The white light: Lastly, the device shows a white light when the volume on the device is being adjusted.
Does Alexa have a secret mode?
No, there is no secret mode for Alexa. However, Alexa devices have a hidden built-in cheat code called the “Super Alexa Mode”. This mode doesn’t do anything special; it’s just a silly joke that lasts for 10 seconds before Alexa returns back to normal. It is based on the Konami code.
The Super Alexa Mode does not have any intended purpose, nor does it allow the device to function differently. It is based on the Konami code that appears in several famous video games throughout history. The mode is only featured to give video gamers a good laugh.
Here is another interesting article on how you can use Alexa with AUX cable as a speaker!
What does Alexa look like when you drop in?
Similar to when you are connected to a call, the Alexa device will flash a green light when you receive a drop-in. The connection happens automatically if the device has been granted permission previously. The green light keeps blinking until the drop-in ends.
The green light is also accompanied by a distinct ringing sound in case there is an unexpected drop-in. This is to ensure the safety of the users on both ends and to safeguard their privacy from secret drop-ins.
Dropping in on Alexa – a final word
Concerning the drop-in feature, many would argue that it does not provide as much use as one would require of a smart device. It does not let you drop in secretly, which would violate people’s privacy. However, these devices are packed with features that do offer convenience once you learn how to use them properly.