Opening the Alexa app will prompt you to enter your sign in information. Hint: it will be the same login information you use for your Amazon account. If you have that set up for a two-factor authentication, you will prompted for that as well.
Once the log in is successful, you will get to view a short introduction video, at which time you will be asked which name you would like to use for identification purposes. As a default setting, your Amazon name used on your account will be what is entered for this purpose here. You can change the name to anything you would like it to be, however, with ease.
At this time, you will need to input your phone number. It will use this number to send you a code for verification purposes, that you are actually the owner of the phone number you entered. Once this has been accomplished, you will be able to make a call to anyone you have listed in the contact list of the app. Sending text messages and clips of audio are also feasible options.
There are two ways in which to communicate through the Alexa app. First of all, you can use the app itself, or you can utilize the Echo device, using the voice commands that go along with it. Saying the phrase, “Alexa, send a message” will allow you to dictate a message to send. The phrase, “Alexa, play my messages” will cause the app to play all of your audio clips, either sent or received.
You can also change the wake word. As a default, the wake word is “Alexa”, but you can change it to just about anything you want.
When you use Alexa to place a call to someone else that also has the app, they will receive a notification on their phone. If their Echo device is located nearby, it will simply tell the person that you are calling in, at which time they can use voice commands to answer your call.
If there is no answer to your call, it will continue ringing until the call is cancelled. One of the drawbacks to both the Echo as well as the Alexa app is the fact that there are no notifications of any kind that a call was missed. This may be addressed in future updates of the service, but only time will tell.