Amazon just turned Alexa into a real phone — but there's a catch

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Update: This feature is also now available for Verizon customers as well.

Amazon Alexa just gained a new communication skill for staying in touch with others, even when the person on the other end doesn't have an Echo speaker. 

AT&T customers can now pair their cell phone number to their Alexa account to make and answer calls through their compatible Alexa-enabled speakers, like the Amazon Echo Dot or Amazon Echo Show 8

This means AT&T customers can now hop on a call even when their handset is out of battery or out of reach. Hands-free calling can also be useful when you're preparing food in the kitchen or have another task in front of you.

Unfortunately, this skill is limited to those who use AT&T as their mobile provider. Amazon was not able to share whether Verizon, T-Mobile or other mobile provider customers will benefit from the same calling features soon.

Of course, all Amazon Alexa users can still make calls and send messages to other Alexa users in their contacts at any time. (Check out our guide on how to make a voice or video call using Amazon Alexa for more on that.)

Here's how to enable AT&T calling with Alexa.

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How to enable AT&T calling with Alexa

If you're wondering how to enable AT&T calling with Alexa now that the feature is available, you'll need to take a few steps to link your phone number to your voice assistant.

1. Open the Alexa app and go to Settings.

2. Select Communication from the Settings menu.

3. Select AT&T.

4. Sign in to your AT&T account to pair your number. 

When your AT&T mobile number is connected, you can make phone calls by contact name or number. Say, “Alexa, call Sarah” or “Alexa, dial XXX-XXX-XXXX."

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

  • Brantome
    You seem to imply that the catch is that there is only one provider at the moment, but don’t mention the bigger catch that it uses your cell’s voice plan for calling rather than the free Alexa calling feature.
  • decyther
    Wow! For once the UK is ahead of the states.. we have had this feature for over a year now. Though we are still waiting for the Sam L Jackson voice pack....