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Amazon adds group calling to Echo devices, Zoom support to Echo Show 8

Amazon's devices are getting a tiny bit smarter.

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Amazon's Echo Show 8 is getting new group video chat capabilities. 
Chris Monroe/CNET

Using your Amazon Echo to host remote holiday gatherings is getting a little easier. On Friday, Amazon announced that it's adding some new calling features to its Echo devices including the ability to say, "Alexa, call my family," and have it start a group call. 

Rolling out today in the US, the group-calling feature supports up to seven people on a video or audio call, though you will need a supported Echo device, like an Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show. The Echo Show 8, which features an 8-inch HD touchscreen, is also gaining support for Zoom and Amazon's own Chime, allowing the device to be used for calls on either service.

Beyond group chatting, Amazon is also adding Call Captioning to all of its Echo Show devices that can provide "near real-time" closed captioning for one-on-one audio and video calls to help those who are hard of hearing. It's also rolling out a new update to Amazon Kids that will allow for children with a Fire Kids Edition tablet or a Fire tablet that has the Amazon Kids app to make calls to "approved contacts who have an Echo device or the Alexa app on mobile devices."