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Alexa can now make and receive calls using your cell phone carrier

The Amazon Echo is many things, but a phone isn’t one of them. Despite being one of the most robust smart speakers on the market, there are currently no official ways to make calls on the system outside of discontinued products and third-party Alexa skills.

Alexa’s skills are part of what makes Amazon Echo such a flexible platform. Want to get even more out of your smart speaker? Tap or click here to see 13 Alexa skills you’ll use time and time again.

If you’ve been wishing for a way to use your new Echo device like a phone, the time has finally come. AT&T has partnered with Amazon to give its customers the chance to pair their accounts with their Echo speakers. This means AT&T customers can make calls, receive calls and dial out using nothing more than their voice. Here’s how you can take advantage of this new feature.

AT&T customers can now ask Alexa to call people

AT&T is giving customers the opportunity to pair their accounts with their Echo devices for full-blown phone services with the help of Alexa. Now, AT&T customers can ask Alexa to call contacts, answer phone calls and even put incoming calls on hold using voice commands.

This update is an expansion of a feature rolled out in 2017 as part of the Amazon Echo Connect service. Previously, users would need to buy a device to sync with their Amazon Echo in order to make calls.

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This partnership with AT&T, however, requires no extra devices or services to sign up for. All you need to do is sync your phone through the Alexa app and you’re good to go.

As of now, there is no word whether or not this kind of service will be available for other carriers — but given Amazon’s ambition, we can’t imagine it staying exclusive to AT&T forever.

How do I activate my phone service on my Echo device?

If you’re an AT&T subscriber, the setup process is simple. Follow these steps to synchronize your account with your Echo device:

  • Open the Alexa app on your smartphone and open settings.
  • Tap the communication sub-menu and hit the AT&T button.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your setup.

Once your account is linked, you can start making calls using commands like “Alexa, call Dad” or by asking Alexa to dial numbers. As part of the service, you’ll also be able to receive incoming calls through Alexa — and she’ll even read the caller ID for you.

And to answer your calls, just say “Alexa, answer.” To stop calls from coming in, all you have to do is say “Alexa, activate Away Mode” or “Alexa, I’m leaving.” This activate’s the Echo equivalent of Do Not Disturb on your smartphone — which Alexa can also use to work with smart home security systems.

Tap or click here to see one of our favorite security systems that works with Alexa.

Now that you can do it, will you be activating your phone with Alexa? It’s bound to make calling your friends feel a whole lot more futuristic.

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