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Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

caryn
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Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

There's an enormous amount of information on the internet about setting up an Echo Dot, through which I have trawled endlessly without luck. Hoping someone here can answer my question.

 

I have an Echo Dot set up in my house. I bought my elderly parents one for Xmas, with the primary function for them to be able to call my Echo Dot should they not be able to get to their phone for some reason. They don't own any android devices, but do have a computer with which I was planning on setting their device up; I haven't set theirs up yet just in case there was a better way to do this.

 

What I can't seem to find on the internet anywhere, is how their Echo will know who I am (or anyone else with an Echo for that matter) if I am unable to add contacts, as you would with an android device and the app. What would I need to do to get this up and running? I'm assuming you don't need an android device constantly connected to the Echo for this function to work.

 

Am I understanding this right, that an Echo can call someone else's Echo with just wifi and that it can also call an android device for anyone who has the Alexa app? No actual cell phone account is needed?

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

12 REPLIES 12
Baldrick1
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

I think what you want is the drop in feature, this article might help. https://uk.pcmag.com/gallery/118921/how-to-call-someone-from-your-amazon-echo

You will not be able to use a smartphone app without a normal cell phone service.

caryn
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

Thanks for that link Baldrick1. I hadn't realised Drop in was for other Echo devices too, just assumed it was intercom for devices registered to me.

 

That method could work, but I'm wondering if we should just bite the bullet and get them a cheap pay as you go smartphone, that can be used with the Echo in an emergency. Do you know if there is an app we could download that could contact me by phone, or go through a series of other telephone numbers if I'm out of reach, should they just shout something like "Alexa help"?

 

Basically, I'm trying to work out the easiest way for them to alert anyone in the family if they need help. They are in their 90's and really don't understand modern technology, wouldn't be able to use a touch screen etc.

 

Thanks again.

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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

I think you can just set it up on their pc, and as long as you both have each other in your contacts Alexa knows how to find the other one.

The hardest thing will be getting them to say Alex before any command,

caryn
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

You're right Mustrum, they will take a while to get used to saying Alexa first. I thought I would set it up and get them to practice with it for a couple of weeks whilst I work out the best way for them to contact me with it. Just simple stuff like asking the time, listening to the radio and asking for reminders etc. If they can get the hang of that, then I'm hoping it will be a very useful tool for them.

I just cant work out a way to get around adding contacts without using a mobile phone or using the Drop in feature. Just asking around the family now to see if anyone has an old smart phone we can use and just leave it plugged in on charge with e the echo dot and instructions for them to never touch the phone itself ... God knows what they would end up doing with a touch screen otherwise :grin:

 

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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

You could just set it up on your phone, name it something meaningful, or as I said before on their pc.

caryn
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

If I use my phone to set it up, would it need to be registered to my Amazon account? Would it then have access to my contacts rather than theirs? Or if it set it up through their pc, how would I get their contacts in there without a phone?

 

Sorry for all the questions, I really do appreciate your help.

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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

If you set it up with your phone they would have access to everyone on your contacts list with an Echo - they would not be able to make calls to phones.

If you set it up on the pc, you would need to add contacts to the address book, again they would only be able to make calls to other echo’s it knows about.

Baldrick1
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

I know that it's more expensive but wouldn't a monitored personal alarm contract designed for these situations be more suitable?

caryn
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

@Mustrum

I've set it up with the pc, which worked really well and one of the family members has donated a smartphone, so the whole contacts / address book thing should be a lot more straightforward to sort out now.

Thanks.

 

caryn
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

@Baldrick1

If we're unable to set something up that works well, then the personal alarm thing would be the next step. At the very least the Echo Dot will be fun for them, reminders, shopping lists etc.

 

Thanks again for you help.

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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone

 

Just make sure you stop it ordering stuff!! Can you imaging what might turn up when they get the hang of it 🤓

 

But then the bill will come in..

Baldrick1
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Re: Echo Dot calling without a smart phone


@Mustrum wrote:

Just make sure you stop it ordering stuff!! Can you imaging what might turn up when they get the hang of it 🤓

That feature is easily switched off in your Alexa settings.