First, there’s Amazon Sidewalk.
Sidewalk is an Amazon feature that shares a slice of your internet connectivity with other Ring and Amazon devices nearby, whether they're in your house or not. So, if you or your neighbors have a Ring camera outside your home, that little piece of Wi-Fi pie can help them stay connected.
Our tester didn’t have any Ring cameras outside their home. And for digital security reasons, we chose to keep our Wi-Fi inside and opted out.
We also opted out of Drop In, a feature that lets you broadcast messages to other speakers in your home. This way, you can tell the kids "Dinner is ready" without yelling upstairs. It has all kinds of uses, but we opted out because there’s only one Echo device in our home.
The Alexa app might also ask you for access to your contacts. We decided against this one too. But if you do say yes, it will give you the ability to call people in your contacts list via the smart speaker.
With your contacts built into your smart speaker, you can call or video chat with anyone listed in your phone through the Echo Dot. This could come in handy if you’re interested in Alexa Together, an Amazon program designed to help you watch over older loved ones like parents or grandparents through your Echo.
However, our tester opted out of this feature.