Alexa Drop In transforms your Amazon Echo products into hands-free systems and thus supports communication at home. Many people today live together with the AI technology Alexa. Anyone who has several Amazon devices and roommates can benefit from the smart subtenant and drop-in.
From André Gabriel
Drop In and Alexa instantly remind Apple users of Intercom and Siri. The principle is the same. Compatible in-house devices are networked using a special function. In this way, people in the same household can talk to each other without yelling through the apartment or house – an exciting solution for families and shared apartments. So you can "drop in on someone digitally" if the other person has given the appropriate authorization.
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Alexa Drop In: Activate in the app
Before you can say something like “Alexa, drop in at mom's”, you have to activate the feature. This works directly in the Alexa app, which Drop In currently advertises automatically if, for example, you tap the speech bubble in the app on an Android smartphone. How to activate Drop In works:
- Open the Amazon Alexa app.
- Tap the "Speech Bubble" icon.
- In the top right, tap the contacts icon.
- Choose your own account name.
- For "Allow Drop In" tap on the slider.
If the controller is set to blue, the function is active. However, it may be necessary to register with "Alexa Calling and Messaging" beforehand. If so, the app will ask you to do so after you tap the speech bubble.
You can also deactivate Alexa Drop In using the instructions above. In addition, contacts can be added if the drop-in use should extend beyond your own four walls and devices. To do this, select the desired name in the contact overview – the person symbol at the top right when you are in the "Communication" area (speech bubble) – and slide the slider to the right. In order to get in touch with one of the Alexa drop-in commands, the other side must also give their consent in the app.
Alexa: Use drop-in commands
The basic command of the drop-in function is "Drop in at" and the options vary depending on the number of compatible devices. If there is only one Echo product in a household, it is possible, for example, to connect to a smartphone via the app:
- Open the Alexa app.
- At the bottom, tap Communication.
- Select "Drop In" above.
- Tap the Echo device at the bottom.
Alexa now establishes a connection – Echo devices without a display indicate the drop-in activity with a green colored ring. This can also be useful in a small household if, for example, someone is in the kitchen and the partner sitting in the living room wants to quickly and easily ask whether garlic belongs in dinner – or something similar.
You can also easily use Drop In via the Alexa app. Image: © Screenshot 2021
The feature is even more useful in households with several Echo devices. In this case, simple drop-in commands such as "Drop In at Home" are sufficient to control the other "echoes". A direct connection to a specific device is also possible if you combine the voice command "Alexa, drop in at" with the specific device name – the same works with the appropriate permission with contact names. If you are not sure which devices can be controlled, say: "Drop in at home". Then Alexa lists the various "echoes".
Have you spoken enough? Then say "Alexa, hang up". But users can also start a step earlier and completely prevent contact – this is useful, for example, when one is busy with important work. With the command "Alexa, please do not disturb", users deactivate the Alexa Drop In function without making manual settings in the app. Within a family or shared apartment, the "rest time" also works with the holistic voice command "Alexa, deactivate Drop In for my household".
Drop in with video function
Drop In works even better with the video function.
In the meantime, the Amazon Echo family has grown significantly. This also includes devices with screens – the so-called Echo Show series. A drop-in connection between such products allows not only an audio but also a video conference.
The devices activate the camera automatically upon successful drop-in networking. Depending on the situation, this can cause surprises. The short voice command "Alexa, camera off" helps here – then the conversation switches to purely auditory.
If problems occur
Alexa Drop In not working? There can be a number of reasons for this, but there is usually a simple solution. It is often obvious that the connection is weak when Drop In does not work properly because Alex is connected to the WLAN network. Therefore, the first thing to do is to check the Internet connection – in general and in relation to the device, because the connection may have been disconnected.
If Alexa does not reach the desired contact or the targeted device, the name may not be correct. With the drop-in command suffix “at home”, Alexa tells you all available Echo devices. If you want to contact a specific person, you can quickly open the app and look at the correct name in the contact list.
Often it is due to the granted or not granted permissions if Alexa Drop In does not work as you want it to. It is not enough to just activate Drop In. Users have to assign authorizations themselves and ensure that other contacts do the same with their own device.
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- The Alexa Drop In function connects two or more compatible Amazon products for linear communication – either Echo devices, which also include the Show series, or the Alexa app.
- It is easiest to use within a household with multiple Echo devices. Depending on the individual settings, it is then possible, for example, to contact the Echo Studio in the living room from the children's room via Echo Dot as a hands-free facility.