Thursday, June 30

Alexa can be used as your phone, and you can try it now

Even if you’ve ditched a landline number in favor of receiving all calls on your cell phone, you can now use your Amazon Alexa speaker as your Verizon phone with a new monthly add-on plan.

Called Number Share – Home, the feature allows Verizon customers to make and receive hands-free phone calls through any of the best Alexa speakers. This includes the Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo, or Amazon Echo Show. And when you buy any of these Alexa devices through Verizon, you’ll have three months to try Number – Share Home for free.

If you know all about how to use Alexa, you may know that one of the best Alexa skills is the option to connect your AT&T number to your voice assistant. Now Verizon customers can benefit from the same calling flexibility.

I kept a Verizon landline number for a long time, even if I didn’t know the number linked to my old apartment (oops). But when I moved to my current address, I finally overlooked the option of adding a landline with one of Verizon’s best plans for mobile-only users. Since my job is to test the best smartwatches, I usually have something on my wrist that alerts me when my phone is ringing, anyway.

(Image credit: future)

Still, there are times when I miss calls because my smartwatch is charging and my smartphone is silent. With Number Share – Home, one of the many Alexa speakers in my home (namely Amazon Echo Show 8 and Amazon Echo Dot with Clock) can alert me to an incoming call, complete with caller ID. When I make a call through an Alexa speaker, my Verizon cell phone number will also appear for my recipient.

Previously, you knew how to make a voice or video call using the native Amazon Alexa communication service. However, this is independent of my cell phone calling services. I could also miss Alexa calls within the app when I was away: With Number Share, an Alexa smart home routine can prevent calls from being sent to my speakers if I’m not there during certain times of the day.

However, perhaps the biggest benefit of this feature is not making convenient calls to your friends, but rather enhancing your safety at home. You cannot use Alexa independently to call emergency services unless you pay for Alexa Guard Plus ($ 4.99 / month). Verizon Shared Number: Home costs the same per phone line paired with Alexa per month, allowing you to use your phone to call 911.

Number Share – Home is now available. You can enable it in the Alexa app by going to More> Settings> Communication and selecting Verizon from the list of account options. You will need to log into your Verizon account to authorize Number Share.

Again, if you buy an Alexa-enabled device from Verizon, you get three months of free service. If you already have an Alexa speaker, it will start with one month free, so you can give it a try and see if it works for you. From there, it’s $ 5 per phone line per month.

Looking for more communication tips from Alexa? See how to change Alexa’s voice, how to make Alexa speak faster or slower, or how to change Alexa’s name by giving the assistant a new wake word.

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