Amazon brings Alexa-to-Alexa calling & multi-room music to India

This brings the price of the Amazon Echo Dot up to Rs 4,499, the Echo to Rs 9,999 and the Echo Plus up to Rs 14,999. According to the Amazon, the Indian consumers now have access to over 12,000 skills on the Echo smart speakers.

"With Alexa-to-Alexa calling and messaging, you can easily make and receive calls between supported Echo devices or the free Alexa app on your smartphone, hands-free". While these features have been available in many other countries for quite some time now, they weren't made available for customers in India so far. "With the introduction of the VIZIO SmartCast skill for Alexa, we're excited to expand voice controls, giving users with Alexa-enabled products a convenient way to control key features on their VIZIO SmartCast TVs and displays".

You will also use Alexa conversations to contact other Echo devices in your home as an intercom as a part of the Drop in feature.

The process of setting up Your Voice can also be done in-app, with customers navigating to "Menu, ' 'Settings" and then 'Your Voice, ' which is inside 'Accounts'.

The advert, which aired in October, featured a man asking Amazon's voice assistant Alexa to order Purina cat food.

Back in October a year ago, Amazon launched its Echo, Echo Plus (review), and Echo Dot smart speakers in India, but instead of opting for an open sale route, the company chose to initially sell the speakers on an invite-only basis in the country. In the near future, developers are gearing up to add more skills to enable users to perform activities like - order food, call a taxi, control lights and more. But, that's not the scenario any longer.

You can also set permissions for who gets to drop in on your Echo device.

Commenting on the wide availability, Jayshree Gururaj Director of Amazon Devices said, "We are grateful to the customers across India who have helped create the Alexa experience during the invite phase". "Since Alexa runs in the cloud, she is always getting smarter - the Alexa experience in India continues to evolve with new features, even better speech recognition, new localized skills, expanded music selection, and more". Customers can purchase Echo devices on and over 350 retail outlets such as Croma, Reliance, Vijay Sales, Crossword and more in 20 cities across India.

Vanessa Coleman