As the year 2020 is coming to an end, Amazon has launched a new feature that allows users to make audio and video calls on Echo devices. The feature was earlier announced in September 2020. A total of seven participants can be added in an audio or video call on Echo devices including Echo Dot, Echo Show and others. Currently, the feature has been made available in 14 countries — Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the US, and the UK.
With the help of the Alexa app, Echo users have the option to create and name particular groups to make these calls. In the future, we may also see the group calling feature integrated into the Alexa app as well. Using this feature, users can simply give a command such as “Call my family” and it will automatically connect to the group the user has created.
For now, there are no limits on the duration of calls while calling or receiving via Echo Group calling. However, users can also use video-conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams and others to call their contacts.
The feature comes to Echo devices just ahead of the holiday season. Zoom has already announced the days it will lift the 40-minute limit off its app worldwide for free users. Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have also made day-long audio and video calling free for users.
For users in the US, there are a few more features for Echo devices. People can simply join a scheduled meeting by giving Alexa a command. There is also a feature for Echo Show 8 devices that displays the caption of the audio in real-time (only for US English).