How to Set Up an Amazon Alexa Calling Service

by Matt Brauer

If you have an Amazon Echo or another Alexa capable device you might have heard of ‘Alexa Calling’. Amazon’s ‘Alexa Calling’ service is useful for making calls to your Alexa-to-Alexa contacts, and most mobile and landline numbers (in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Mexico) at no additional cost. Before setting up your Amazon Alexa Calling service, you will have to confirm Alexa’s access to the contacts on your device. To achieve this, follow these steps:

Giving Alexa access to your contacts

Launch the Alexa app and tap the ‘Conversations’ icon at the center row of icons at the bottom.

If you see a message saying Alexa needs access to your contacts to call and send messages, you’ve not given Alexa access to your contacts. Therefore, to use the Alexa Calling service, you will have to give Alexa access to your contacts.

To give Alexa access to your contacts, click on the settings link just below the text/message you’ve just read. You will be redirected to the location on your device where you can allow Alexa to access your contacts. Return to the Alexa app and then navigate to the conversation screen.

The Amazon Echo Dot is the cheapest Alexa device by Amazon

Making Alexa-to-Alexa phone calls

Launch the ‘Alexa’ app on your device.

Tap the ‘Conversations’ icon. This icon looks like a speech bubble and you can find it in the center row of icons along the bottom of your screen.

In the upper right corner of the screen, tap the ‘Contacts’ icon. This icon resembles a silhouette of a person. After tapping the contacts icon, you will see a list of everyone on your contact list whose phone number is associated with the Amazon Echo device. This is essentially the list of people you can make Alexa-to-Alexa phone calls.

Choose by tapping the name of the contact you wish to call using the Alexa-to-Alexa calling service. You will see a screen with personal information about the person you are about to call.

In the row of menu items along the top of the screen, tap the ‘Phone’ icon. The icon resembles an old-style telephone for easier identification. Afterwards a screen showing the name of the person you are calling will appear with ellipses scrolling below the name. Furthermore, you will hear the sound of a phone ringing periodically on your device’s speaker (just like in a normal call) until the person you are calling picks up the call.

If the person you are calling accepts your call, you will see a connected message below the person’s name. Consequently, if the person you are calling declines your call, you will briefly see the ended message below the person’s name. After some time, you will be returned to that person’s contact screen (to call again or decide your next move).

If you wish to end the call you are making, you can use the red ‘End Call’ icon at bottom of the screen.

Initiate Alexa-to-Alexa calls on Amazon Echo

To make a call, say, ‘Alexa call [contact name]’. The name you say should match the name you have in your Alexa contact list. After saying the contact name, the light ring in your Amazon Echo device will turn green (showing the call is in progress).

If the person you are calling has enabled notifications for Alexa, they will see a notification that they have an incoming call. On the other hand, if the person you are calling is near an Amazon Echo device that’s associated with their account, the light ring on the Echo device will turn green and then announce that you would like to talk.

In case the person declines your call, Alexa will inform you that the contact is not available. However, if the person you are calling is available to talk, you will hear them pick up and you can proceed to talk.

If you wish to end the call, you just need to say ‘Alexa, Hang Up’ or ‘Alexa, End Call’. After saying the words, the light ring on your Echo device will turn blue before eventually turning off.

You can install Alexa on third party devices easily

Initiate Alexa-to-other calls using your voice

To get started, say, ‘Alexa call [contact name]’. As an alternative, you can say, ‘Alexa, dial [phone number]’.

The light ring on your Amazon Echo device will turn green and then Alexa will announce that she is calling that person or number.

As the contact is being dialed, you will hear a periodic ringing sound. The person you are calling will then see you are trying to reach them and can pick up or decline. The contact can either pick up the call or you will be routed to their voice messaging service if they are not available.

If you are done with the conversation, you can either say, ‘Alexa, end call’ or ‘Alexa, Hang up’. You will see the light ring on your Echo device turn blue before turning off.

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