Drop In effectively turned Amazon’s Echo Show into a slick (if not somewhat creepy) video intercom. Echo and Echo Dot owners could get in on the action, too… at least the voice and instant message part of the equation. Now, Amazon has expanded its calling and messaging reach to Android and iOS device owners.
The new functionality has been a long time coming. We first heard rumblings that Amazon was planning to expand messaging to Alexa users on other platforms back in May of last year.
You’ll find the functionality front and center in the latest versions of the Alexa app. Fire it up, sign in with your Amazon account, and you’re good to go. Alexa can import your contacts (with your permission, of course) to make it easier to find the folks you want to message. The recipient doesn’t have to be an Alexa user, either. Alexa will gladly shoot those people an SMS message at your request.
Want to set up your family’s devices to work like the Echo Show? You can enable Drop-In’s auto-answer functionality in the new Alexa app, too. Want to ask your significant other a question while they’re down in the laundry room or mowing the lawn out back? Just tell Alexa to connect you.
It’s a pretty slick user experience even if it isn’t quite as smooth on iOS and Android devices as it is on the Fire HD 10. On Amazon’s top-end tablets you don’t need to lay a finger on the screen to ask Alexa to play receptionist. You can just speak your request to start a call or send a message as long as you’ve got hands-free mode enabled.