Amazon’s voice-activated assistant Alexa continues to get more capable and can now make calls to iPads, Amazon Fire tablets, and Android-based tablets.
The technology giant said Monday that people can now send free text messages or make video and audio calls to other tablet owners, as long as they have installed the Alexa app to their devices.
Previously, people could make video or audio calls using Alexa-powered devices like Amazon’s Echo or Echo Dot Internet-connected speakers, or via iOS and Android-based smartphones, as long as those phones have the required Alexa app.
While owners of Amazon’s Fire HD 10 will be able ask Alexa to make calls without using their hands, people who bought older models like the Fire 7 or Fire HD 8 tablets will have to first tap their device’s home button.
For Android or iOS-based tablets, people will have to install the Alexa app to their devices, verify their mobile phone numbers, and then import their contact lists before they can make audio or video calls.
Amazon (AMZN) has been heavily emphasizing its Alexa voice assistant as the preferred method for people interacting with their computing devices by speaking. By making Alexa able to make calls on more devices than just the company’s lineup of Echo-branded smart speakers or conventional smartphones, Amazon is hoping to spread Alexa to more users and gain relevance.
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Other competing voice-activated assistants include Apple’s Siri, the Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana.