How to send Android SMS messages with Amazon Echo, and why it’s a big deal | Tips & Tricks

If you got a Google Home Mini to go with your phone this Christmas, one of the first things you probably asked it to do was a text. But instead of asking what you wanted to say, your Google Home said this: Sorry, I can’t send texts yet.

But starting today, if you ask the same question to your , it will happily oblige. Here’s how to send text with Amazon Echo.

Echo devices have long been able to send messages to each other, but now Amazon has expanded that to the Android community as a whole, adding hundreds of millions of new devices to its ranks. Now you can simply say, “Alexa send a text message to mom” and it will oblige, using your Android phone as a conduit.

But first you need to set it up. When you ask your Echo to send a text message for the first time, it will reply: “If you have an Android phone go to the Alexa app and enable SMS messages. Here’s how to do that:

echo app smsIDG

To send SMS messages throught your Echo, you’ll need to enable it in the Alexa app on your Android phone.

  • Open the Amazon Alexa app on your phone (or download it if you don’t have it).
  • Tap the icon on the bottom bar that looks like a chat bubble.
  • Tap the icon on the top bar that looks like a person.
  • Tap “My Profile.”
  • Turn the “Send SMS” toggle blue.

Then, you only need to ask Alexa send a text message to someone in your contact lists. After confirming the recipient, Alexa will ask what you want to send and inform you that the message has been sent, but it won’t be read back before it’s whisked away (nor will it appear on the screen of the Spot or Show). So you might want to keep your messages casual, lest something gets lost in translation.

Amazon’s Trojan horse

While SMS messaging might seem like just one more skill for the Echo, it’s definitely a . Amazon doesn’t have the luxury of joining a built-in platform like Google with Android or Apple with iOS. Sure, there’s FireOS, but that’s largely a content platform and a niche one at that. For Echo to succeed, Amazon needs to build a strong platform around Alexa. And every mobile platform starts with messaging.

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