Amazon gained a massive lead over Google in the Home Assistant space today by enabling Voice calls and Messaging with Echo and Alexa devices. I think Calling and Messaging is one of the killer apps for in home assistants and Amazon just jumped - no, warped - ahead of Goole.
Some of you may remember back in the good old days when processors were slow, and MHz mattered. Yes, I said Megahertz. Back when everyone bought desktop computers and the only thing that mattered was how many MHz it was. Today reminds me of the day AMD beat Intel to release the first 1GHz CPU. It was a big deal, and Intel played catch-up for many years. Amazon beating Google to Voice Calling and Messaging is a big deal, and feels like a repeat.
If you are interested in finding out how the Voice calling on the Echo works, here are the basics.
- Say Call Mom
- Talk to Mom
- Say Hang Up
Sound pretty easy, but there are a few details to know about. First, this is wifi calling to other Amazon Alexa enabled devices or to the Alexa app. You can’t call regular phone numbers. I don’t have any Alex devices so I can’t vouch for the call quality, but I’m assuming it is at least passable. Also, Amazon has not enabled any advanced call features yet like 3-way calling, call waiting, or call transferring. You can place your device in a do-not-disturb mode to prevent interruptions.
When I ask my Google Home why it is so stupid it always tells me that it is continuously learning new tricks, lets hope Google learns this trick pretty quickly.
Find out more about Alexa Voice Calling, try it out and let me know what you think of the new home assistant killer feature.