Alexa Calling is fantastic.
Full disclosure: I haven’t tried calling yet through Google Home. However, this week Amazon unveiled free North America calling (outbound) through Echo devices. This used to be limited to the contacts in your Alexa App, but it’s now available to any number. The quality of the calls is great and handsfree dialling is very convenient (if you know the number).
Apparently, numbers can be adding through the Alexa App for contacts, but having a side-loaded APK (being in Canada), I wasn’t able to check this out. Also, the outgoing number is the same as the phone on which you’re running the Alexa App.
What might be some potential next steps for Amazon?
While the Echo Connect that was announced last week can allow for land line dialling and speaker phone, perhaps it could be used to provide land line service to households through as Amazon Chime? Amazon could then compete in the home phone space and get access to all of the voice data passing over these calls.
Another service could be to provide an inbound phone number for Echos. Maybe as a subscription? Maybe free for Prime members?
Eventually, all of this could tie back in to Amazon having it’s own Echo Phone. Maybe the killer feature of that phone could be free calling with Internet connectivity or heavily discounted.