Echo devices are a bit more useful following a recent update from Amazon.
In May, the e-commerce giant announced a free voice calling and messaging service for Echo devices. Dubbed Alexa Calling, the service was limited by the fact that it only worked between Echo devices (you couldn’t send a message from an Echo device to an Android phone, for example).
With Amazon’s latest update, however, that is now possible (so long as you have an Android device and an Echo).
As TechCrunch highlights, getting set up to send SMS messages with Alexa requires a small bit of prep. You’ll need to open the Alexa app on your Android device and navigate to the “Conversations” tab. From there, select “Contacts” then “My Profile” and enable the “Send SMS” option.
Once complete, you should be able to ask Alexa to send a text message on your behalf.
Worth noting is the fact that Alexa can only send SMS messages to Android phones. An Amazon spokesperson tells the publication it can’t offer a similar feature for iPhone users because Apple doesn’t offer its messaging API to third-parties. Apple’s HomePod speaker, which recently went up for pre-order, will have the ability to send SMS messages and iMessages via Siri.
Furthermore, the new capability is only functional on devices in the US. No word yet on when (or if) Amazon will be bringing SMS capabilities to international markets.