Group calling is a great way to stay in touch with a group of friends or family at the same time, and it’s certainly seen its popularity rise over the past year. With this in mind, Amazon has given its Echo smart speakers and Echo smart displays the ability to make group calls free of charge.
You’ve been able to call other Amazon speakers as well as individual mobile numbers and landlines and other Amazon speakers since 2017, but expanding this to include group calling means you don’t have to resort to apps for your smartphone or tablet for virtual get-togethers.
You can call up to seven people at any one time, on an audio call using an Amazon Echo or on a video call using an Amazon Echo Show. Group calling is available in the US, UK and Australia as well as Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain. Here’s everything you need to know about making group calls with Alexa
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How to create a calling group
To start with, you’ll need to put the contacts you want to call at the same time into a calling group in the Alexa app. Open the app and select ‘Communicate’ from the bottom of the screen. Now tap the person icon in the top right-hand corner, followed by ‘Add New’. From the options display, choose ‘Add Group’. Now you’ll be able to select the contacts you want to add to the group and the name you want the group to have, for example, My Family.
How to make an Alexa group call
Once you’ve created your calling group, all you need to do is say “Alexa call my…” and the name of the group, and it’ll start the call. If your recipients have more than one Echo device in the house, all of them will announce the group call and they’ll be able to accept it on any of them. Once they've accepted the call, the other Amazon Echos in the house will be silenced.
How to make Zoom calls from your Amazon Echo
In the US, if you have an Echo Show 8, you can also use the smart display for Zoom calls. Just say “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting” and Amazon’s voice assistant will ask for the meeting ID and passcode. Read aloud these details, and you’ll be able to take part in the call from your Echo Show 8. If Alexa struggles to identify the meeting from the ID and passive you provide, the Zoom for Home app will open on the screen and you’ll be able to manually type the details. If your calendar is linked with Alexa (you can do this through the Alexa app) then saying “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting” will see Amazon’s voice assistant use the details from the calendar, so you don’t have to announce the meeting ID and passcode.
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