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Smart speakers, smart displays and voice assistants have transformed the way we interact with one another. Homes are becoming increasingly saturated with these gadgets, providing us with more conveniences than ever before. You no longer have to go room to room in order to let people know that dinner is ready, nor do you have to constantly call to ask a simple question. Instead, you can use Amazon Alexa’s Drop In feature.
What Is Amazon Alexa Drop In?
It’s actually one of the most useful Alexa features around. Some users may not even be aware of it because Alexa’s functions are so vast, but it essentially allows a user to quickly communicate to specific Alexa devices much like an intercom. It works both with audio-only devices like Amazon’s line of Alexa devices like its smart speakers, as well as video on Echo Show smart displays. With video, however, the function is very similar to your standard video call on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile devices.
Alexa Drop In is a useful tool when you need to instantly connect with someone, especially for emergency situations. We’ve used it countless of times and cannot tell you enough about its effectiveness. While you can access Alexa’s Drop In feature between two Alexa devices, like an Echo Dot smart speaker and an Echo Show 5 smart display, you can also use the Alexa app on your mobile device to connect with an Alexa-enabled Echo device.
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This is ideal when you’re out and need to ask someone at home a question. For example, instead of making a phone call to that person at home about what kind of coffee they want from Starbucks, who may or may not accept your call to their phone, using Alexa’s Drop In feature will instantly connect you to the Echo speaker at home. Not only are conversations instant, but we’re sure you’ll get a response faster this way.
Accessing Alexa’s Drop In feature is pretty simple, but there are many ways to do it across various devices. However, the instructions differ from device to device, so we’ll break down what you’ll need to do.
How to use Alexa Drop In with an Amazon Echo smart speaker
- Through an Amazon Echo smart speaker, all you need to say is “Alexa drop in on X.”
- You can specifically say what device or what room it’s located in.
- For example, if it’s another Echo device in the kitchen, you can say “Alexa drop in on the kitchen.” Alternatively, you can say “Alexa drop in on the Echo Show 5.”
Just know that the Alexa Drop In feature for Amazon Echo smart speakers is simply limited to audio communication, so you’re simply making an audio phone call to another Echo device. If that other device happens to be an Echo Show smart display, it’ll still be conducted as an audio phone call. Lastly, you can also leverage Alexa’s announcements feature to announce something on all your Echo devices.
How To use Drop In with an Amazon Alexa smart display
- Through your Amazon Echo Show smart display, say “Alexa drop in on X.”
- If it’s done to another Echo Show smart display, it’ll be conducted as a video call.
- If you’re dropping in on an Echo smart speaker instead, it’ll just be an audio phone call.
One important thing to remember about using Alexa Drop In to another Echo Show smart display is that the video feed is instant. Meaning, there’s no need for someone on the receiving end to accept the call. While this is handy for certain situations when you need to get in touch with someone, it may startle them.
When it comes to privacy, you can always choose to slide the privacy cover over the camera on an Echo Show smart display. The drop in feature will still be instant, but the video feed would not be accessible.
How To use Alexa Drop In with a Smartphone
- In the Alexa app, select the Communication icon.
- Select the drop-in icon.
- Select the name of the contact you want to drop in on.
This solution is most suitable if you’re outside of your home and quickly need to check up on something back at home — or desperately need to get in touch with somebody. We find it handy for checking up on pets at home to make sure they’re okay.
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What Devices Support Alexa Drop In?
While Alexa Drop In is exclusive to Amazon Echo devices, you can use any smartphone with the Alexa app to communicate to those supported devices. Here are just a few of the most popular Amazon Echo smart home devices that support it.
Are There Privacy Concerns With Alexa Drop In?
Since Alexa Drop In works instantly, the device on the receiving end doesn’t have the option to accept the communication like a traditional phone call. It simply starts. This may be a privacy concern for some people, but just remember that the permissions can be configured through the Alexa app.
Additionally, if you’re worried about the video portion of Alexa Drop In, you can simply slide the privacy cover over the built-in camera that’s on all Amazon Echo Show smart displays. There are also both audible and visual alerts whenever Alexa Drop In is being accessed. That way, you’ll hear a tone and even see an LED light go on.