You can text with Alexa (if you have AT&T)

You can text with Alexa (if you have AT&T)

You can do a lot of things with Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices!

One of my favorite new skills (and there are now over 5,000) in the

Alexa Skills store on Amazon.com (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is the

AT&T Send Message skill (AT&T Send Message skill)

I find it a super simple way to send a text to myself, my Significant Other, or our now adult kid.

Sure, I could do it with my phone…but it’s so much easier with our

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

or

All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) and an Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

to just say, “Alexa, ask AT&T to text Bufo…don’t forget the Toys for Tots gift.”

Some of you are also probably thinking that Alexa has a “To Do” list…and wondering why I don’t add it there.

Simple: I check my text messages frequently, and will certainly check right before I leave the house. To use the Alexa To Do list, I have to consciously choose to go there…it’s pull, not push.

There is a bit of set up involved. That’s part of why the review average on the site isn’t great…2.2 stars out of 5 with 154 customer reviews.

Here are the steps:

  • You need to already be an AT&T customer for voice…if you use Verizon, for example, this skill will not work for you
  • You need an Alexa-enabled device which can do skills. I have tested it with an Echo, an Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*) (and it should work with the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)…which is the least expensive way to get Alexa at this point, since you can give it voice commands without the Voice Remote, using the app on your SmartPhone), and an Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)  (one tip with the Tap, so to speak…you do not need to push the mic button to respond when Alexa asks you what you want to text)…it worked with all of those
  • Next, enable the AT&T Send Message app. A fairly recent improvement means you can do that just by saying, “Alexa, enable AT&T Send Message” with an original Echo or Dot. You can do it with other devices by using the voice interface (app/remote/Tap button)
  • You will need the Alexa app on your phone to set it up, though. You a text word from your phone to a special number to link your phone account to the skill
  • Next (and the skill explains this), you go to http://alexa.andyet.io to enter a name and a phone number. You can have up to ten names and numbers. Getting it to recognize the name has been a challenge for some people…as you can imagine, it doesn’t know the name “Bufo”. 🙂 However, you can say to Alexa, “How do you spell the name Bufo?” (or whatever name is right) and it will give you a spelling it should recognize when you say the name. It originally thought my name was spelled something like Buffon (not buffoon, by the way). Later, though, it said it spelled Bufo as B-U-F-O, so it might have learned it. Note that if you want to edit the list of names later, after you’ve closed the website, you’ll probably be asked to text a word again (that’s what has happened with me)
  • Now, to actually use it. 🙂 “Alexa, ask AT&T to text Bufo.” Alexa will respond by asking what you want to text. You say your line of text. Alexa will confirm it: “Sending a text to Bufo ‘this is a test'”

It should then show up on your phone.

If you have trouble with it (or if you love it…or just like it) feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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One Response to “You can text with Alexa (if you have AT&T)”

  1. Phink Says:

    Sometimes I do things where I go “Gee. That was dumb even for me.”

    I was trying to get this to work over and over and over. For probably 15 minutes going into settings, notifications, etc. trying to figure out why I could not send the text to link my account. Finally I saw the big AT&T logo and thought “you idiot. You have Cricket.” In my defense I have been up about 17 hours now. I’ll blame that.

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