Amazon has added a new SMS texting ability to Alexa devices which adds to the hands-free communication options you have with the digital assistant.
Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, continues to get smarter and add more options. Now you can send SMS text messages to any phone, and not just through the Alexa app. Currently, it only works with Alexa users with Android devices with the app, but it’s safe to assume it will be added to other mobile platforms, too. Here’s a look at how to set it up and start using the new feature.
Once you have it set up, you will be able to send SMS text messages to any phone. “Customers can now ask Alexa to send a message to a specific contact, and Alexa will figure out how to route it appropriately – using either the previously launched Alexa messaging system, or by sending it out as an SMS instead, if the recipient doesn’t have an Alexa device of their own,” an Amazon spokesperson explained to TechCrunch.
Send Texts via Alexa-Powered Devices
To use it you need to set it up first. In fact, if you ask Alexa to send a text, it will tell you that you need an Android phone and to set it up in the app. So, launch the Alexa app on your Android device and tap the Conversations button at the bottom of the screen. You should see a notification that you can send SMS messages – tap the “Go to my Profile” link. Then scroll down to Send SMS and turn it on.
If you don’t see the SMS message shown above, you can just go your Profile from Settings. You will also need to give Alexa permission to access your contacts and view messages. After everything is set up, you can shoot a text to a contact or specific number. You just need to say: “Alexa, send a message” and follow Alexa’s instructions.
This new texting ability adds to the hands-free communication options you have with Alexa devices. You can already drop-in on different devices, make video calls with the Echo Show, and make phone calls with Alexa. In fact, you can also use your Echo as your landline phone by adding the $35 Echo Connect box.
If you’re an owner of an Alexa Echo device, will you be using this feature to send texts hands-free? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.