Alexa's free voice calling is rolling out for all Echo users

Make calls and send messages between Echo units, or even the Alexa app

Amazon's new Echo Show is the hot topic right now, but one of its new features, which lets you make calls to other Show owners, is also rolling out to older, screen-less Echo devices.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Wareable that the new calling and messaging update is rolling out to existing Echo and Echo Dot devices, as well as the Alexa iOS and Android app, but only in the US for now. Once you've got it, you'll be able to start a voice call with anyone else with an Echo device so long as they've enabled the feature their end. Alexa will alert you when you're getting a call, and the halo ring will light up green.

Download these: The best Alexa skills for your Echo

And as we said, this goes for messages too. You can simply send a voice clip to someone in your address book and they'll be able to pick it up their end.

It doesn't just have to be between Echo units either. You can initiate or pick up a call or message using the Alexa smartphone app too, so Amazon is also going up against services such as WhatsApp and Skype. However, unless you have the new Echo Show, you won't be able to video calls.

It appears we're in smart speaker season right now. Microsoft and Harmon Kardon just announced their Cortana-powered assistant, while Apple is rumoured to be readying its Siri speaker, possibly at WWDC in a few weeks time. And Google? Well, I/O is just around the corner, and it's very possible we could see the next iteration of Google Home unveiled there.

Alexa's new voice calling feature is available for your old Echo too

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  • Octagon·

    I looked at my Alexa app today and it had upgraded.  When I opened it, the app setup my Echo for voice messaging and phone calls.  So it's up and working from the app and the Echo today.

  • AGreatArtiste·

    I can't get the Alexa app to work on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone as of 5/14 after TWO updates with supposed bug fixes since the roll out. The phone is compatible according to Amazon, as it's updated to Android 5.0.1. The app shuts down milliseconds after you open it. I can't even report it through the default Android popup! I call that a huge fail. Never had any app behave that way before. Since I can't get the call/message set up or working through my tablet (non-phone) or my PC, it's useless. Worse, they've now crippled the app on my phone. Where was the beta testing on this POS? Annoying and a big disappointment. FAIL!