If you have an Android phone, you can now send SMS messages in the US using your Echo. There’s a catch, however. It only works with Android phones (running Version 5.0 or later) and according to Amazon, there’s no plan to expand to iOS anytime soon because Apple does not provide third parties with access to its API.
Here’s how you can set up SMS with Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Open the Conversations tab.
If the app is updated, a pop-up will appear, explaining the new SMS feature.
- Select Go to my profile.
If you don’t see this, you can get to your profile by tapping the Contacts icon in the upper right (next to the compose button) and selecting My Profile at the top of your contacts lists.
- Under Permissions select the toggle next to Send SMS to enable it.
- Select OK to continue.
- Select Allow to give Alexa access to send and view SMS messages.
Like voice calling with Alexa, this feature will let you text most US numbers, excluding 911. You also will not be able to send SMS to groups or send MMS.
SMS with Alexa differs from the previously launched messaging feature in that this isn’t Echo-to-Echo messaging and it’s not sending voice messages. Instead, these are text-to-speech text messages that recipients will receive on their phone, from your phone number. This also means you will not receive messages — and they will not be read back to you — on the Alexa speaker.
Sending SMS with Alexa only works with specific Alexa devices: the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Plus or Echo Show.
To send a message with Alexa, you can say things like:
- “Alexa, send an SMS.”
- “Alexa, send a text message.”
- “Alexa, send an SMS to [contact name].”
- “Alexa, send a text message to [contact name].”
You can also send an SMS message to someone not in your contact list by specifying the phone number, for example “Alexa, send a text message to 855-330-2665.” Give Alexa the message, and it’s sent.