(Pocket-lint) - Amazon has expanded the functionality of Alexa Calling, meaning that you can make calls to groups through Alexa devices, such as the Echo Show. It's designed to let you get in touch with everyone at the same time in an easy manner.
Video calling has seen a huge increase through 2020 and the addition to Alexa's skills will make the Echo - or even your phone - even more useful for keeping in touch with up to seven people in any group.
The update was announced in September 2020 and now appears to be live.
How to setup and make Alexa Group Calls
There's a few things you'll have to do to get a group setup, but only one person needs to create the group to get started. Let's pretend you're making a family group.
- Open the Alexa app. You can use the Android or iPhone apps to do this, making sure you're using the latest version.
- Tap on Communicate, then the contacts icon (the person) in the top right-hand corner.
- Tap on Add New and you'll get the option to add a new group or contact, select Group.
- Select those family members you want in the Group, using search if you need to. Note that Alexa will need access to your contacts to make these additions. If you haven't imported contacts, tap on the contacts menu (top right-hand corner) and select Import Contacts.
- Once you have selected all members of the family group - up to six people (you are the seventh) - tap Continue at the bottom of the page,
- Next you'll be asked to give your Group a name. This will be the group name that Alexa will recognise, so make sure it's something easy to understand, like Family. Remember that everyone in the group will be able to see the group name, so make it appropriate. Once done, press Create Group.
- Your Family group will now be listed above your contacts, all members of the group will be notified and you'll be able to use that group for Alexa calls.
- Say "Alexa, call my Family" and an Alexa Call will be placed to the Family group.
One thing to note is that there's no protection or admin for groups. Anyone can create them, and anyone can change the members of that group.
Happy Alexa group calling!