In September, Amazon announced the coming of a group video and audio calling feature for its devices such as the Echo Show, the Echo Dot, and the Echo. Fast forward to the second half of December and you will find Amazon doing good on its promise by delivering free and unlimited video and audio calling for Echo device users.
However, the group calling feature is not readily available worldwide, but only in selected countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Spain, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Austria, and France. So far, there is no official information from Amazon as to when they plan to expand this feature to other countries.
So, how does it work?
Every Echo owner can now create and name a group with the help of the Alexa app. Only adults that are using the Alexa app can get invites to the group call. Then, everyone who gets the invite can opt to be part of that group. Once that is done, the user can make group calls with the members of the group.
For example, a user can create a group named “Students.” After a group gets created in the Alexa app, the user can start a group video or audio chat by giving commands such as “Alexa, call my Students.”
Users can create groups of up to seven members, including themselves. Unlike some other video conference apps, there is no cap on how long the calls can be.
Google now offers free video conference calls until March 2021, whereas Zoom opted to remove its 40-minute time restrictions during the holidays. Then there is the Microsoft Teams video conference app that allows free video calls 24/7, without any time limit, and for as many as 300 participants.