Alexa can now send hands free text messages to smartphones

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Amazon has announced a new feature to its virtual assistant, Alexa, that will carry your messages to more devices, but not to all of them.

Alexa can already make free calls to landlines in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as send text messages. And before recent developments, users of Amazon’s Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Spot and Fire TV could only send messages to friends hosting the same devices.

What this new feature means for users is that, if the recipient doesn’t also have an Amazon device, the message will now be forwarded to their smartphone, via SMS. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that all contacts will be able to get the message; the new functionality is only available on Android smartphones. There is no word about iOS support for the moment or for availability outside the United States.

To enable the new feature, one needs to open the Alexa app in Android and select “Contacts” within the conversations tab. Once there, you go to “My Profile” and then click to enable “Send SMS”.

Alexa’s competitors already have messaging features; for instance, Google Home can send text messages, and with the upcoming Apple Homepod, users will be able to ask Siri to send “iMessages”.