Amazon brings Alexa calls and messaging to tablets

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The expanded support for voice calls and messaging is the latest example of how Amazon's Alexa app is becoming more than a utility for managing the settings on Echo devices or Alexa's smart home integrations.

This means that users no longer require an Echo speaker to take advantage of this feature. It's now being extended to a wide range of tablets.

The Verge has the news on Amazon's update for its popular assistant. The feature was initially available on the company's own Echo-branded devices but not anymore.

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Notifications for Echo speakers were introduced last fall and can appear for some Alexa skills or hear updates on the status of an Amazon order. This new feature also will work with Fire tablets and will make it a lot easier if you need to text or call someone. On other Amazon tablets it involves tapping on the home button first.

This new feature is toggled off by default, so you'll need to enable it manually. One fix will involve disabling the phrase: "Alexa, laugh", and they have also changed the command to "Alexa, can you laugh?" They include the iPad Mini 4 which starts at $399 and move up to the higher-priced, larger and more robust iPad Pro.

The Amazon Fire tablets also come in several different prices and sizes. Before Alexa can make phone calls or text people, you will need to allow permissions to get into and access your Contacts. All you have to do is to ask Alexa to get in touch; but that only applies to the Fire HD 10.