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Android users can now tell Alexa to text someone

Got an Android phone and an Amazon Echo device? You can now tell Alexa to fire off a text to one of your contacts.

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Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology and wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
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Crist, Ry

Amazon's virtual voice assistant Alexa can already make phone calls and send people quick voice messages. Now, she can send text messages, too -- provided you have an Android phone.

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Head to the Conversations section of the Alexa app on your Android device to get everything set up.

Screenshot by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

To set it up, head to the Conversations section of the Alexa app. Select "Contacts," then "My Profile." Finally, toggle on the "Send SMS" option.

To send someone a message, just tell Alexa to "send a text message" to whoever you have in mind. From there, Alexa will draw from your contacts just like she already does in order to make calls and send voice messages. Amazon says that there's no extra charge for each message beyond the usual voice and data limits of your wireless plan.

Alexa texts should work with all US carriers, but there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind. For starters, you'll need to be using Android 5.0 or higher, and you'll also need to be using an Echo device that supports Alexa messaging (the Echo, the Echo Dot, the Echo Spot, the Echo Plus or the Echo Show). That also means that third-party Alexa devices won't support the new texting feature. 

There's no new Alexa app update needed to use the feature, provided you updated your Alexa app within the past month or so.

Amazon says that there's no plan to extend the feature to iOS users right now since Apple doesn't offer its messaging software to third parties like Android does. In other words, tough luck, iPhone fans.

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