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Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone

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Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« on: April 20, 2020, 11:14:46 am »
Hello, I purchased 2 echo shows and had planned on giving one to my parents so they could video chat with their grandson who they do not see very often.  They are not technically savvy, do not own a tablet, and their cellphone is not 'smart.'  I setup a new amazon account for them and registered one of the echo shows to it.  When I go to 'communicate,' then call, it says "To make calls, first register in your Alexa app."  I downloaded the alexa app to my PC and signed in with their amazon account.  It gives me no option to 'register' anything related to calling.  I also tried alexa.amazon.com which also has no options for this.  I had assumed that this was VOIP or some sort of web conferencing that does not require a cell phone or cellular plan.  Is that incorrect?  I've found plenty of stuff on the web that supports my belief that a phone is not needed, including an interview with the VP at Alexa Machine Learning where he says this: 

“I can easily drop in and talk to my kids,” he said. “They don’t have a smartphone, so that’s my easiest way to talk to them."

How can I get these two devices, 100 miles apart, both connected to the internet, to make video calls to one another?  Appreciate any advice.

Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2020, 02:36:00 pm »
when you first open the alexa app, at the bottom of the phone, one of the options is communicate.  click on it and follow the on screen instructions

Offline jwlv

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Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 04:33:09 pm »
The website at alexa.amazon.com is missing several options. One of those things is setting up drop-in and phone calls. Another one is routines.

You should always use a smartphone to set up whatever you need to set up. After that, you don't need the phone any more.


Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 04:50:30 pm »
my bad, for some reason the part about using pc slipped my mind when I replied.  getting old.  I think you misunderstood what the vp meant when he said a smartphone was not needed.  also when you use a pc, there should have been a popup that said all features may not be available.   I have not used it since I do not run a win10 computer but there should be an alexa app in the microsoft store.  you might be able to use it to set up drop-ins.    finally, You might be able to contact amazon and they could fix things up for you. 


Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2020, 10:02:16 am »
Appreciate the responses.  The options are not on the 'mobile app' when installed on a PC.  It sounds like you all are saying I can use *any* mobile phone?  Like I can use my own, then send the echo show 100 miles away for my parents to make calls to me and receive calls from me, with the phone remaining here?

Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2020, 11:59:23 am »
any phone or tablet will work as long as you are logged into the proper account in the alexa app.   

Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 10:22:23 am »
So I finally had some time to try this with my phone.  Got through the point where it texts my phone to verify the number.  I then went to add contacts (in the phone app) so I can put my name in there and my parents will be able to use their echo to video call me.  Unfortunately, it asks if I want to import the phone contacts and allow them to be uploaded periodically.  I do not want this, so I hit "later" and it then goes back and asks again for a phone number to be verified.  Stuck in this loop.  The device is useless to me if I can't add a contact, but it's equally useless if I have to import all contacts.  How to get past this? 

Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2020, 09:56:06 am »
We got past the contacts stuff, and the echo to echo calls work if the echo is in the same location, but when we test from another house it does not work.  At one point it was calling my phone instead of the echo, but now it's not calling anything.  I've been an IT professional for 24 years.  Why are these things so difficult?

Re: Echo to Echo calling - No smart phone
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2020, 01:35:23 pm »