Enabling Alexa Calling & Messaging for International Users

It’s been a busy month for Amazon, announcing two new products to the Alexa line-up. The Echo Look, a smart camera that can judge your fashion sense, and a Jetsons style video call device called the Echo Show.

The big surprise though came from the Echo Show, which introduces Alexa Calling & Messaging between Echo devices. This includes older Echo devices like the Echo Smart Speaker, and its little sister the Echo Dot. This means all Echo speakers and Dots that you’ve already got should now be capable of enabling Alexa Calling & Messaging (except the Amazon Tap). You can then call your Echo Dot or Echo Speaker from your smart phone, or vice-versa.

Of course, the rollout was only intended for US users of Alexa. However, there are ways to enable Alexa Calling & Messaging on your Amazon account, so you don’t have to miss out on all the excitement.

Update Your Alexa App

iOS

If you’re on iOS, you’ll need a US iTunes account to download the Amazon Alexa app from the US iTunes store. This is important, as international variants of the Alexa app most likely won’t include Alexa Calling & Messaging. Note the iPad version won’t work.

Once you’ve got the US version of the Amazon Alexa app on your iPhone, you should be able to use your existing Amazon details to enable Alexa Calling & Messaging. If you still can’t see any Alexa Calling options, we’ll need to change your Amazon account to a US Amazon account.

 

Android

You’ll need the latest version of the Amazon Alexa Android app. If you’re like me, and outside the US, UK and Germany (where the Alexa app is officially supported) then you can download the application directly from an APK Mirror. I downloaded the app from APK Pure here.

Once you have downloaded the Alexa app, sign in and check the version of the app by going to Settings -> About the Amazon Alexa app. You should have a “Bridge Version” of at least 2.0.1057.1. Here is what my Amazon Alexa app is set to:

If you still can’t see any Alexa Calling options (or you’re not asked to setup Alexa Calling & Messaging) then we need to change your Amazon account settings.

 

Change Amazon Account Country

So we’ve updated our mobile apps, but we still can’t see any options to enable Alexa Calling & Messaging. We now need to update our Amazon Account, as it’s most likely set to a non-US country.

  1. From a computer, login to your Amazon Account at amazon.com. Once logged in, go to Account -> Manage Content and Devices or click here.

  2. If you’re asked to login again, enter your username and password. Amazon will prompt you to sign in before you can make changes to your account.
  3. You’ll now be presented with a few options of your Account. We first need to go to the Settings tab
  4. Once in the settings screen, check which country your Amazon account is set to. Mine below is set to Australia, so we’ll need to update this to the USA for Alexa Calling. Click the change button next to your Country.
  5. You’ll be asked to complete an address form. You’ll need to enter a valid US address here, and Amazon will validate it. I used this website to grab a random real US address which will pass the validation. You’ll also need a phone number. You can use a random number here. I was able to use my own number in international format (without the +).

  6. Once you have updated your address, your Country should be changed to United States

 

Login to the Alexa App

Now that we’ve updated our Amazon Account country, we need to signout of the Amazon Alexa app. Once signed out, you can sign back in. You should now be prompted to setup Alexa Calling & Messaging, or you should see a phone icon in your Alexa App.

You’ll now be able to verify your phone number with an SMS code (Amazon will send the confirmation code to any International Number, which is great!) and enable Alexa Calling.

 

Cleaning Up

Once you’ve enabled Alexa Calling & Messaging, you can go ahead and change your account country back to your home country.

Hot Tip

Be sure to remove any fake addresses you setup, just incase you accidentally order something to that address in the future. That would be awkward and frustrating.

Manage Amazon Addresses Here

From my own experience, changing your country back won’t disable Alexa Calling & Messaging once it has been setup on your Amazon Account. Now you can go ahead and use your Echo devices as a house intercom!

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  • Zeta

    it didn’t work here in Chile, the sms with the activation code never arrived 馃檨
    is there some service that i can use to recieve a code and use it to activate the call feature?

    • Yeah I’m guessing the mobile number is pretty important.

      You could try a skype number maybe? If not, maybe purchase a cheap international SIM off eBay or something and use that. It shouldn’t have to be your real number if you don’t need friends to find you by your phone number.

    • Tom Neish

      Did you ever get it to work?

      • Zeta

        yes i did but with a bit of lucky, my in-laws went to USA last month and they purchase a sim card to stay connected there, so i register that number in my Alexa app and they give me the sms code… it works but you need to have someone there to make it work.

  • Diego U

    Hey Phil, i just realize that Amazon release the option to select an address from everywhere in the world in the Alexa App, idk if this is something temporal or permanent. im just charing the news. 馃檪

    • Thanks Diego!

      You’re right. Although it does seem not *every* country is supported yet. Australia isn’t in the list 馃檨

      However if you know how to use the console in your browser, if you go to alexa.amazon.com and change one of the country codes to AU, you can set an Australian address!

      • Sean K

        Looks like Oz and NZ are there now – wonder how far off the support for Connect will be – at present only Calling Country in the list is US 馃檨

        Still answers incoming calls though.

      • Sean K

        Looks like Oz and NZ are there now – wonder how far off the support for Connect will be – at present only Calling Country in the list is US 馃檨

        Still answers incoming calls though.

    • Alvaro Silva

      Diego, vi que solucionaste el problema de llamados v铆a Alexa. Vivo en Santiago y tengo dos unidades que uso mucho pero no puedo recibir el c贸digo para habilitar llamadas. 驴Me puedes decir como lo lograste? 隆Gracias!

    • Alvaro Silva

      Diego, vi que solucionaste el problema de llamados v铆a Alexa. Vivo en Santiago y tengo dos unidades que uso mucho pero no puedo recibir el c贸digo para habilitar llamadas. 驴Me puedes decir como lo lograste? 隆Gracias!

      • Diego U

        Hola Alvaro,
        me funcion贸 de 2 formas:
        1.- Un Familiar viaj贸 a USA por vacaciones y compr贸 una sim all谩 para poder usar 3g, le ped铆 el numero y lo registre en el Alexa app, le lleg贸 a el el SMS de confirmaci贸n y me lo dijo a mi, esto claramente no es la mejor opci贸n ya que dependes de alguien all谩 para que funcione.

        2.- Agregue a mi se帽ora a mi household de Amazon y quer铆a que tuviera los mismos privilegios que yo con los echo, como no contaba con alguien en USA esta vez, me fui por otro m茅todo que deber铆a funcionar para ti. compr茅 un numero en el sitio http://hs3x.com v铆a paypal por 5usd, pasan por un tiempo de verificaci贸n (creo que fueron 24 horas) y luego me habilitaron el numero y me lo enviaron por correo en conjunto con una url para revisar mis mensajes, este numero lo registre en el Alexa app y el sms lo revis茅 en la url que me entregaron y listo.

        no se si fui claro con la explicaci贸n, av铆same si tienes alguna duda.

        otro punto importante es que esto habilita el “Voice feature” de los Echo, pero no podr谩s hacer llamadas, lo que si podas hacer es utilizar los echo como intercom diciendo el comando “drop in” y funciona perfecto.

        • asilvam

          Diego, has sido muy expl铆cito en tu respuesta y te la agradezco de sobremanera. Intentar茅 con ambas opciones. Tengo dos Echo (Alexa) y he logrado manejar varos dispositivos como el TV y en receptor de TV Cable VTR. Si te interesas en compartir experiencias escr铆beme ([email protected]) y nos contactamos. 隆saludos y feliz 2018!

          • Gustavo Basso

            Solucionado!!
            En iphone bajar better net (vpn) una vez funcionando bajar alexa USA. Una vez instalado falta n煤mero telef贸nico de USA para lo cual se baja desde itunes USA la app TEXTME y ahi por pago de $1900 pesos Chilenos tu eliges un n煤mero telef贸nico que lo ingresas en ALEXA y esperas que te llegue el c贸digo de AMAZON. Lo ingresas en ALEXA y listo.

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