Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- Amazon Alexa can now send SMS text messages by voice.
- Android users can send SMS text messages by voice using Alexa, but Amazon does not currently have plans to add support for iOS.
On Tuesday, Amazon updated Alexa with the ability to send SMS text messages via voice command, a spokesperson told our sister site ZDNet. That means a user can now ask Alexa to send a message to one of their smartphone contacts, and the assistant can route it through SMS or its own proprietary messaging platform.
The move will help bring Alexa closer to Siri and Google Assistant when it comes to sending and receiving messages, ZDNet noted. While Alexa still can't read messages aloud to its users, the broad collection of other skills available on the platform still help it dominate the market.
However, there is a catch: Messaging through Alexa is currently only available for Android users in the US. Amazon does not yet have plans to add the feature to iOS, the spokesperson told ZDNet, as Apple does not offer their messaging API to third parties.
SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)
The news follows last year's announcement that Alexa could make and receive phone calls and send messages. However, at that point, the feature was only available for Alexa's ecosystem, and not other devices outside of it.
Here's how to send an SMS text message using Amazon Alexa:
1. Download the latest version of the Alexa app.
2. Open the app and tap the Conversations tab.
3. Tap Contacts, followed by My Profile.
4. Move the toggle next to Send SMS so the feature is on.
5. Say either "Alexa, send a text message" or "Alexa, send an SMS," and the assistant will ask who you want to send a message to, and tell you how to proceed.
- Personal digital assistants: The current lineup (TechRepublic)
- Which smart speaker should you buy? Amazon Echo or Google Home? (ZDNet)
- Amazon Alexa: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- How Alexa could bring Amazon back to smartphones (ZDNet)
- 16 technical Alexa skills IT pros should know (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.