Starting November 18, AT&T mobile customers will be able to compose and send text messages using Amazon Echo’s Alexa assistant. The integration will works with not only the original, canister-sized Echo but also Echo Tap and Echo Dot. So if you’ve got an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Tap somewhere in the home, you can ask Alexa to ‘have AT&T text’ a contact’s name (Alexa can store up to 10), followed by your message. You have got to take that first step of adding people to the skill before Alexa can do anything; you can’t just call out the name of anyone in your contact list, for example.
AT&T said it’s the first carrier to offer an Alexa skill for SMS. Since the skill is not yet live, it is unclear if Alexa will read your transcribed message before sending it. But the carrier did specify the ‘content of texts sent by AT&T are determined by Alexa’s reading of your voice commands’. In simple words, you may want to use the old fashion way of sending a text for important messages.
Standard text messaging and data rates will be apply when using AT&T’s Send Message skill via Alexa.
The other news is that AT&T will officially begin selling the $179.99 Echo and $49.99 Echo Dot through its website and retail stores, they giving the popular living room accessory another huge distribution opportunity through AT&T’s 133 million customers.