(Pocket-lint) - Amazon and AT&T have partnered on a new feature, allowing some AT&T customers to make and receive phone calls through their Alexa-enabled devices, such as an Amazon Echo smart speaker. They just have to enable the new feature first. Here's how.

What's new with Alexa?

Amazon has announced a new feature: AT&T calling with Alexa. When enabled, AT&T customers with supported devices can start a phone call or answer an incoming call, even if their phone is out of reach, turned off, or dead from no battery power. It is powered by AT&T’s NumberSync service that allows users to make phone calls on watches, tablets, computers, and now, Alexa devices.

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How to enable 'AT&T calling with Alexa'

"AT&T calling with Alexa" can be set up under your Alexa account.

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device.
  2. Go to the “Communication” section in their Alexa app’s Settings.
  3. Select “AT&T” and then follow the on-screen instructions to link your mobile number.

How does 'AT&T calling with Alexa' work?

You need an AT&T smartphone and an Echo device. Once you link them up and enable 'AT&T calling with Alexa', you can get started.

Place a call

Once enabled and linked, AT&T customers can say things like “Alexa, call James” or “Alexa, dial [phone number]”.

Answer a call

Alexa will announce a call by saying, “Incoming call from Jessica” or whoever is calling. To respond, say, “Alexa, answer" to an Alexa-enabled device like an Echo and carrying on a conversation through the device like normal.

Routines

You can also create an Alexa Routine that makes sure you’ll only receive your calls through Alexa during evening hours, for example. You could trigger the routine to enable AT&T calls on your Alexa-enabled device when you say something like, “Alexa, I’m home.”

Away mode

You can quickly turn off this feature when you’re leaving home by switching on the “Away Mode” setting in the Alexa app.

Is 'AT&T calling with Alexa' free to use?

There’s no extra cost associated with using the feature, but you need an eligible AT&T mobile plan. It's available on post-paid plans for those customers who own compatible HD-voice mobile phones, such as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device and others.

Where is 'AT&T calling with Alexa' available?

Only AT&T customers in the US can use this feature. They can place calls to anywhere in the US, Mexico, Canada, and the UK.

Keep in mind Amazon rolled out a similar feature elsewhere. Vodafone OneNumber customers in the UK and Germany and EE customers in the UK can link their mobile phone accounts, too. This announcement simply brings the feature to the US.

Want to know more?

Check out other ways you can call people using Alexa, via our guide: How to use Amazon Alexa to make calls and send calls.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.