Making hands-free calls just got easier: Skype calling is now available on devices that use Amazon Alexa, Microsoft announced this week.
Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, Amazon Show, and Amazon Spot users can use Alexa to call people on Skype, or to call mobile and landline numbers in up to 150 countries worldwide, according to Microsoft. Users who link Skype with Alexa will receive 100 minutes of free calls per month for two months.
SEE: Electronic communication policy (Tech Pro Research)
Here's how to set up the Skype skill on your Alexa device:
2. Go to Settings > Communication > Skype to link your accounts.
3. Sign in using the same Microsoft account you use on Skype.
You can then ask Alexa to call any of your Skype contacts, no matter what device they are using, according to Microsoft, by simply saying, "Alexa, Skype [Name]." You can also pick up calls by saying "Alexa, pick up." If the person you need to call is not on Skype, you can read their phone number out loud to call them, by saying "Alexa, call 206-555-0155 on Skype."
Since Amazon opened up the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to developers, a wave of new capabilities for Alexa have surfaced. There are now more than 40,000 third-party Alexa skills available, which can help users do everything from connecting conference calls, to managing schedules, to microwaving food.
Click here to learn how to add more skills to your Alexa device.
- How we learned to talk to computers, and how they learned to answer back (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Amazon Echo: 10 Alexa productivity skills to try (ZDNet)
- Alexa Skills: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Alexa for Business: 10 key takeaways (ZDNet)
- Top 5: Ways Alexa can help you get work done (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.