Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has launched an audio calling and group video feature for Echo devices. The company had announced plans to introduce the feature in September and the group calling will allow up to seven participants to join group video and audio calls on echo devices such as Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo.
Amazon introduces a new feature enabling echo to make calls
The company has launched the feature in 14 countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Brazil, India, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and the US. Those with Echo devices can now create and name video calling groups through Alexa. The company plans to add a group calling feature to the Alexa app enabling users to add contacts into groups and family and friends can opt-in to be part of the group call. Interestingly the new feature also supports Alexa commands such as “Alexa, call my family” connecting to a group.
This is good news as group calls can be an alternative to video calling services such as Zoom. Most importantly there are no call times limits which allows Echo owners to receive and make video and voice calls freely. Currently, without Alexa supporting group calling, most calls are limited to those with necessary hardware.
Video calls apps offering unlimited free calls
Video conferencing apps such as Microsoft Teams, Google Duo, and Zoom have a time limit when it comes to making calls. The Echo feature comes ahead of the upcoming holiday season and Zoom has already announced that it will lift its 40-minute limit globally for free users. Equally Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have made a day-long video and audio calls free for their users.
Users in the US will also enjoy additional Echo devices features like joining a scheduled meeting with just a command to Alexa. There is also an Echo Show feature that shows a caption of the audio in real-time. Also, Echo Show 8 device users can now join Amazon Chime and Zoom video calls through Alexa by giving a command “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting.”