Consumers who own an Alexa device and use Verizon as their wireless provider now have the option of paying an additional fee to utilize a convenient feature called Number Share – Home. With this feature, Verizon users can make and receive audio calls via their mobile number through an Echo smart speaker or other Alexa-powered audio devices.
READ: Amazon Echo (4th Gen) Review – Alexa gets vocal
Verizon's new Number Share – Home feature is a convenient way to handle calls without actually touching one's smartphone. Users can, for example, put an Echo Dot speaker on their desk and use the device to take hands-free calls.
In the same way, users can tell Alexa via their speaker to call one of their contacts, making life easier for those who work from home or who are busy doing something with their hands like cooking. Users can also speak a number for Alexa to dial for those times the number isn't already in one's contacts.
An inbound call will result in Alexa saying which contact is calling; users have the choice of ignoring the call or telling Alexa to answer. Linked Verizon numbers also enable Alexa to call emergency services and contacts. Recipients, meanwhile, will see the user's Verizon phone number on their ID even if the call is placed using an Alexa speaker as a hands-free device.
For users concerned about privacy, Verizon says its Number Share – Home service includes support for Alexa Routines so that inbound calls won't be delivered to the smart speaker when the user isn't home. The routines feature can also be used to prevent hands-free call notifications between certain hours, for example.
Verizon's Number Share – Home service costs $5/month per line. The wireless carrier is launching the new option with a promotion that includes three free months of Number Share – Home for customers who sign up and buy an Alexa device through Verizon's website.
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