Tuesday, 20 November 2018 12:58

Skype voice and video calls with Alexa arriving in AU, NZ, US, UK, India and Canada


Amazon's talented Alexa assistant has gained yet another new skill, letting users make Skype calls by voice, and with the Echo Show and Echo Spot, making video calls, too. 

Skype calling with Alexa has started to roll out to customers in Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, India and Canada, according to Amazon and its Alexa media people.

We're told that this new integration provides "a convenient, hands-free way to connect with friends and family around the world by simply using voice -- just in time for the holidays!"

So, how does it work?

Well, by linking a Skype account, Amazon says "customers can use Alexa to connect with the hundreds of millions of people already using Skype globally.

"Virtually celebrate the upcoming holidays with long distance relatives, catch up with international friends, and reconnect with loved ones far away by simply saying, “Alexa, call William on Skype” to reach him wherever he uses Skype".

Getting started is easy:

  1. In the Alexa App or on alexa.amazon.com, go to Menu > Settings > Communication
  2. Select the link to add a Skype account and a sign-in page will appear in the app
  3. Sign in with your Skype account information to complete linking your Skype account

There is a note, however - if you want the "the best Skype calling and video experience, update to version 8.34 or later".

Amazon also advises that "Customers can both make and receive hands-free Skype calls on their Echo devices and in Show Mode on Fire Tablets".

Meanwhile, "Skype video calling is supported on the Echo Show and Echo Spot".'

The official Skype blog post has more detail here, and here on the Alexa page on the Skype website, where you'll also find a couple of videos that I can't embed here, but are a click away. 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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