Amazon’s Alexa is now able to send SMS messages to a contact in a user’s smartphone, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat today. At launch, text messages can only be sent with smartphones running the Android operating system in the United States.
No details were made available about when SMS with Alexa will be available outside of the United States, or when Alexa will be able to read you your latest text messages. There are no plans to add iOS support due to limitations Apple places on its messaging API for third parties, a spokesperson said.
Alexa has been able to send messages for the better part of a year, but you had to have the Alexa app installed in order to do so and could only send messages to other users of the Alexa app. Now if you say “Alexa, send a message,” you can choose to send a text message or a message through the Alexa app.
Free phone calls with Alexa to landlines and cell phones in the United States, Canada, and Mexico became available last fall. Messaging and video chat with the Alexa app were first introduced last spring ahead of the release of Amazon’s Echo Show.
By contrast, Google Home smart speakers have been able to send text messages since landline phone calls became available late last summer.
To add the SMS-sending feature to your Alexa-enabled device, open the Alexa App, go to the conversations tab, select contacts, then My Profile, and enable the Send SMS toggle.
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