Amazon is making it a bit easier to communicate with friends and family with your Echo.
The company just added the ability send text messages to others via Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Tap. Once you toggle on the feature in the Amazon Alexa app on your Android phone (there's currently no iOS option), you'll have the option to send SMS messages using just your voice.
Interested in trying it out? Here's a quick guide:
1. Open the Alexa app on your Android device.
2. Select the Conversations tab.
3. Choose the Contacts icon at the top of the page.
4. Scroll to the option that says "My Profile" and tap it.
5. Toggle on the option to send SMS messages.
6. Now that you're set up, say "Alexa, send a text message." Alexa will ask you who you want to send your message to. Once you pick someone who's in your Contacts within the Alexa app, you can recite your message.
7. When you're satisfied with your message, simply send it off and Alexa will take it from there.
Now, before you get too far with the feature, be aware that there are some very big caveats that might give you some pause.
For one, the feature is only available on Android devices. So if you boot up your Amazon Alexa app on your iPhone, you'll quickly discover that the option to send SMS messages isn't available.
Moreover, Amazon confirmed to TechCrunch that the SMS messaging will only work with Android handsets. So, if you want to issue an SMS voice command to your Echo, you'll only have the option of sending it to those who have Android devices. That, of course, also means that only those who have Android devices can actually respond to you.
Amazon told TechCrunch that Apple doesn't make its messaging API available to third-parties, ultimately leaving Amazon and Alexa out of the mix. The company also confirmed that it will be making the feature available internationally at some point in the future, but didn't say exactly when.