Verizon lets you link your number to Alexa, for hands-free calls
Verizon is launching a new Number Share program, allowing Verizon account holders to link their phone number to an Alexa-enabled smart speaker. By doing so, they will be able to take and place calls completely hands-free just by talking to their Alexa speaker while going about daily business at home.
It seems that for now, it's only possible to link a single number per Alexa device. If there are other people in the household, to avoid confusion over who is calling whom, Alexa will specify both the caller and receiver for every incoming call (rather than just playing the ringtone): “Michael would like to talk to Emma.”
If a call is started over an Alexa speaker but needs to go private, Verizon says it's always possible to move the call to a "Verizon-distributed Android mobile phone," which makes it seem that it isn't an option if you're using a Verizon phone number on a non-Verizon handset—although we'd have to confirm with them to be sure.
The list of prompts to control Alexa for Number Share is simple. To answer a call, you simply need to say “Alexa, answer.” To place a call, you just tell your smart speaker: "Alexa, call Daniel." Or, you can make the alternative command: “Alexa, dial XXX-XXX-XXXX."
The cost of membership in the Verizon Number Share program is $5 per month, per phone number.
The process of signing up is also very simple. You can do so directly through the Alexa app by selecting “More,” “Settings,” “Communication,” and then following the instructions you see on-screen. You can also do it via the My Verizon app (with the same steps as in the Alexa app), or through the verizon.com website. Verizon says it will take only a few minutes, tops.
If you buy an Alexa speaker from Verizon when you sign up, you get 3 free months of Number Share
The Number Share program launched on Monday, and anyone with a Verizon phone number can opt in to use their smart speaker for hands-free calls. If you don't have an Alexa-enabled smart speaker yet (such as an Echo Dot or Echo Show), Verizon is offering a deal of three free months on the Number Share program—as long as you buy your Amazon speaker from the mobile carrier at the time of registration.
Even if you don't buy an Alexa smart speaker through Verizon, you do still get one full month of free membership upon signing up.