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Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???

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With recent sale now have 2 ECHOs and 1 DOT.  They are spread throughout the house and all work.  We have an EMERGENCY cell phone, talk only, few minutes, that we use for wife's car phone in case of emergency, hurricanes,etc.  I do not want to be able to call other folks.  Just want to be able to use set up the 3 devices so that we can speak to each other in the house.  Can't find any instructions on Alexa App.  Called Amazon and their "expert" told me we had to have a cell phone to set it up, in fact that we needed a different cell phone number for each device.  That can't be.  Any help would be appreciated.  We are (very ) old and just trying to make our life a little easier  -  not corner the cellphone market
TIA

Offline jwlv

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Re: Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 06:58:10 pm »
Perhaps you asked the wrong question. "Calling" someone kind of suggests that you are wanting to make a phone call.
What you want to do is use a feature called "drop in" which works like an intercom. Assuming that your 3 Echoes are already setup, you just have to say "Alexa, drop in on [device name]."
For example, let's say you named your 3 Echo devices Bob, Mary, Sue and you are sitting in front of the Echo named Bob. To talk to one of the other Echoes, you should say "Drop in on Mary."

Re: Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 08:04:52 pm »
"T0 make calls,  you must first register in your Alexa App"  was the reply.  And thereby hangs the tale.
Where do I do this.  Yes, my three devices are set up and operating - to do all the things they do individually.  But I can't get them to "drop in" 

Offline jwlv

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Re: Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 09:55:58 pm »
"T0 make calls,  you must first register in your Alexa App"  was the reply.  And thereby hangs the tale.
Where do I do this.  Yes, my three devices are set up and operating - to do all the things they do individually.  But I can't get them to "drop in"

There's nothing else you have to setup. Each of your Echo devices has a name. You chose this when you first connected it to your home WiFi. So, just say "Alexa, drop in on [the name of one of your Echo devices]"

Re: Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 12:49:36 am »
In order to set up this functionality on your Alexas, it appears you do need a smart cell phone.  (The little "chat balloon" widget at the center bottom of the Alexa app screen doesn't appear if you are not running the app on a cell phone.)  However, I believe what the app really needs is your phone list -- your phone's address book -- not your cell phone number.  It needs this list in order determine to with whom to place a call:  When you say "Alexa, call Ted", it needs to look up the "Ted" entry in your phone book and compare the phone numbers you have for "Ted" to see if one of these is associated with another Alexa account Amazon has on file (presumably Ted's).

You do not need to associate your cell phone number with your Alexa account however.  All you need is to assign it a phone number that is capable of receiving texts (for verification purposes).  I associated a Google Voice number I give out to friends and family with my Alexa app and it is working fine.  (After all, it is already in all my friends' and family's address books.)

So, bottom line:  You do need a smart phone with an address book that contains entries for everyone you'd like to call using the Alexa app.  And, you need a phone number that can receive texts, and that you are willing to give out to people who you want to talk to via Alexa.  But, that doesn't have to be the phone number (if any) that is activated on your smart phone.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 12:52:51 am by restamp »

Re: Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 09:15:27 am »
 >:(  Looks like I have to find a cheap  smart phone/service I can use to set it up and then cancel the phone.  Would that work (ie a throwaway "burner" phone)?  Or by doing this to set it up, am i obligating myself to smart phone service for as long as I want to "drop in"?  If so, it's back to yelling  -  or wait until someone hacks the system.  How hard can it be?  Three devices all on the same network, all with the capability, it just needs to be turned on... 

Re: Can't set up home intercom among my devices w/o cell phones???
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 01:17:36 pm »
@starrin
Although I was one of the early adopters of a cell phone (mostly for work purposes at the time), I put off having a smart phone as long as I could. I finally realized that they are a lot more than a "phone" and bought one a few years ago.  So glad I did.  The "phone" part is a minor feature compared to all that these little pocket computers can do.  There are lots of choices today, many not too expensive, so just get one; you will not regret it!