Customers are using their Alexa devices to stay connected with friends and family using features like drop in and video calling. To further this, Amazon has launched a new way to stay in touch, introducing Alexa-to-phone calling.

Australian customers can now make free calls from their Echo device to mobile and landline numbers in Australia (excluding emergency services), even if the recipient doesn’t own a device themselves. Customers will also soon be able to assign an emergency contact who Alexa will call and SMS when a user asks for help. 

“For years, Alexa has been keeping homes organised, entertained and connected. Alexa users around the world have used Alexa-to-phone calling to stay connected socially. We’re proud to bring this to Australia, but I’m especially excited about how this will help older Australians with a device at home,” Amazon Alexa head of product for Australia and New Zealand, Kate Gooden said. 

To set up calling, users should download the latest version of the Alexa app and sign in on their mobile phone, select Communicate at the bottom of the app, add and verify their mobile phone number and grant permissions for calling and messaging, and then import their contact list when prompted or add contacts individually via the Communicate page in the app.

Users can add up to 10 contacts via the Alexa app or these will be added as calls are placed to dial friends and family hands-free. As calls are placed, Alexa will automatically add up to 10 contacts to your Alexa-to-phone contacts list. Once the phone number is verified and a call is placed, contacts will see the mobile number on their phone, with calls made via Wi-Fi connection.