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
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.
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.
- From a computer, login to your Amazon Account at amazon.com. Once logged in, go to Account -> Manage Content and Devices or click here.
- 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.
- You’ll now be presented with a few options of your Account. We first need to go to the Settings tab
- 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.
- 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 +).
- 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.
Once you’ve enabled Alexa Calling & Messaging, you can go ahead and change your account country back to your home country.
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!