How to make calls using Alexa: Getting started with Echo Connect

Echo Connect

Amazon’s ever-expanding lineup of Alexa devices has a wide range of options for integrating the virtual assistant into your life. One of those ways is the Echo Connect, a unique add-on that brings your home phone to compatible Alexa speakers and accessories. Echo Connect has largely flown under the radar over the last year and the brand’s more mainstream devices have enjoyed more fanfare. But for those among us who are all-in on Alexa, there’s real value here for Echo Connect, a device that truly brings all of your communication together. Hit the jump to learn more about Amazon’s unique telephone accessory.

What is Echo Connect?

At it’s core, Echo Connect brings basic telephone services to your Alexa-enabled devices. It works with both traditional landline phone numbers and VoIP. It leverages your smartphone, for better or worse, to upload all your contacts so that you can dial up friends and family by simply saying “Alexa, call my mom…”

With Echo Connect and a compatible Alexa-enabled device, you can ask Alexa to call anyone using your home phone service—all you have to do is ask. Because Echo Connect uses your home phone number, either landline or VoIP, friends and family recognize the call. Answer your home phone on your Echo hands-free, so you can easily talk to anyone hands-free when you’re busy making dinner or away from the phone.

How to setup Echo Connect

Getting your new Echo Connect up and running is pretty straight forward. You’ll just need to connect the box itself to an existing telephone line and the box itself connects up with your network and Alexa speakers via Wi-Fi.

After uploading your contacts via the Alexa app or your PC/Mac, you’ll be able to simply ask any Alexa speaker on your network to place a call. One slight annoyance is that calls are restricted to the speaker, so privacy is a potential issue if you want to move to a handset-based conversation.

Looking ahead

Amazon’s Echo lineup has expanded steadily in recent years but has ultimately become rather predictable. Outside of implementing displays on a handful of devices, which we’ve praised, Alexa hasn’t seen much change. It brings a whole new level of functionality to the mix that takes your Alexa setup to the next level.

It would be nice to see Amazon continue to leverage various new ideas to make the most of its Alexa speakers. Echo Connect is a nice and affordable accessory at $35. Bringing in additional features this way is a welcome sight for Alexa enthusiasts.

What features would you like to see Amazon add to its Alexa lineup? Let us know in the comments below.

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