Just in time for the holiday season, Microsoft and Amazon announced that you can now ask Alexa to make Skype voice and video calls on Echo devices.
In all, 34 countries will soon be Alexa and Skype-enabled. Skype support for the Alexa platform is available now in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, India, Australia, and New Zealand. Support for other countries will be coming soon, according to Microsoft.
You can use Alexa-enabled devices such as the Echo Plus or Dot to make hands-free Skype voice calls.
With an Echo Show or Echo Spot, which both have video displays, you can also make Skype video calls to computers or mobile devices for face-to-face holiday greetings and check-ins. Amazon Fire tablets that support Show Mode, which means specifically the 2017 and 2018 Fire HD 8 and the 2017 Fire HD 10, also support Skype video calls.
According to Microsoft, you’ll need to update your Skype software to version 8.34 or later for the best Skype calling and video experience.
To link an Alexa device to your Skype account:
- Go to Alexa.amazon.com or load the Alexa app on your mobile device.
- Go to Menu > Settings > Communication
- Select Skype.
- Sign in to your Skype account (it’s the same as your Microsoft account ID and password).
- Click “Get started” and begin making calls.
Once you link your Skype account to your Alexa device, you can say “Alexa, call Kim on Skype.” The service will attempt to reach Kim wherever she uses her Skype account.
Microsoft also announced that people using Alexa devices for Skype calls can call most international landlines and mobile numbers with Skype to Phone. As an initial promotion for new connections with Alexa devices, Skype is comping subscribers with 200 free Skype to Phone minutes for the 34 countries included in the rollout.
For more information on connecting and using Alexa devices for Skype calls, including details on compatible devices and which services they support, the 34 countries in the rollout, and the terms of Alexa and Skype promotion check out Skype’s feature page.
Amazon’s support page for Skype calling with Alexa has additional information on the processes.
To get ready for holiday calls with Skype and Alexa, you can take advantage of the Black Friday sales and pre-sales going on now for discounts on Amazon Alexa devices.
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