Amazon’s Alexa voice service lets you get answers to questions, set reminders, listen to music, and shop by talking to an Echo smart speaker or other Alexa-enabled device.
Recently Amazon also started adding support for calling and messaging, allowing Alexa users to place voice or video calls or send messages to other users.
Now you can also use Alexa to send a text message without picking up your phone. You do need a phone though… one running Android 5.0 or later, specifically.
In order to use the new Send SMS feature, you’ll have to install the Alexa app on your smartphone, sign up for Alexa Calling & Messaging in the app, and then enable the “Send an SMS” option in the settings.
You can find steps on how to do that at Amazon’s support page.
Once that’s done, you can ask Alexa to send an SMS message to anyone in your contact list by name, but Amazon notes that group messages, picture and video messages, and texts to 911 are not supported.
Calls are routed through your phone rather than through Amazon’s servers, which means that recipients will see your name and number. It also means that the service probably won’t work if your phone’s battery is dead. This isn’t a replacement for sending a text message from your phone. It’s just another way to do it.
There are also no plans to bring SMS functionality to iPhone users, since Apple doesn’t offer the developer tools that would be required to make that work.