Drop In is an optional feature in Amazon Echo speakers including the Amazon Echo 2 and Echo Show that allows you to instantly connect to family and friends through compatible Echo speakers. Unlike normal voice calls where the person on the other end has to answer your call, a Drop In call connects automatically.
It’s great for checking up on everyone when you are away and connecting to friends for quick chats.
It may sound a bit disruptive and even annoying but it is much better than real life dropping in unannounced. It comes with various options and settings to give you control over who can drop in on you and how much privacy you want.
Here’s a quick guide for setting it up and using it.
Note: It works on all Amazon Echo devices except Amazon Tap, Amazon Connect and Echo Look.
1. Sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging
Before you can use your Amazon Echo 2 speaker to contact anyone, you must sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging through the smartphone Alexa app.
2. Drop In for Contacts
You can Drop In on a contact from your phonebook who has a compatible Echo device. But you can’t just Drop In on anyone and not just anyone can Drop In on you.
You must first enable Drop In for them and they must also enable it for you. Basically you both must agree to Drop In on each other.
To Drop In on a contact, simply tell Alexa to “Drop In on contact name”. Alexa will automatically connect to the contacts Echo device. If it is an audio-only device like the Amazon Echo 2, you’ll be able to hear them immediately.
If it is a display device like the Echo Show or Spot, they’ll first see a frosted glass image which clears up soon after connecting. Either of you can turn off video using a voice command (“video off”) or buy using the controls on the screen.
Note that you can also Drop In on someone from your Alexa app but no one can Drop In on you through your app.
To revoke someone’s ability to Drop In on you, select their contact on the Alexa app or Echo speaker screen and toggle the Drop In option to off.
3. Drop In for Devices
To use Drop In for Echo devices at home, you must enable it under each device in your Alexa app. To initiate a Drop In simply say, “Drop In on device name”. The two devices will connect immediately.
If you are using an Echo device with a display, you can turn the video off.
You can also Drop In on a device using the Alexa app. Tap on the conversation icon, go to Drop In and select device name. It’s a neat way to check what’s going on at home when you are at work or when travelling.
You can change device Drop In permissions at any time from the Alexa App.
4. Temporarily Preventing Drop In
You can set your Echo device to prevent any Drop In for a period of time using the Do Not Disturb setting.
If you have an Amazon Echo 2 or Dot, the easiest way to do it is by telling Alexa, “Don’t disturb me.” To turn it off simply say, “Turn off do not disturb.”
If you have and Echo Show or Spot, swipe down the top of the screen and tap the ‘Do Not Disturb’ icon.
You can do even more in the Alexa app. Go to settings, select your Echo device and go to the Do Not Disturb setting. Select scheduled and set your preferred start and stop times. This is convenient (and a lifesaver) in case you forget to activate Do Not Disturb when you don’t want anyone connecting to your Echo.
- Only use Drop In with trusted friends and family members. Remove any contact or device that you don’t want dropping in on you from your Drop In contacts.
- Use Drop In to check in on the baby. You’ll need to setup another Echo device in the nursery, ideally one with a camera such as the Echo Show or Spot.
- Use Drop In to instantly connect to your family from your phone when you are away. It’s great for saying hi, checking in on dinner or announcing that you’ll be late.
- Use the scheduled Do Not Disturb setting to block Drop In for certain times such as during dinner and when asleep.