As spotted by TechCrunch, you can now ask Alexa t to send SMS text messages to any phone, rather than just messaging people through the Alexa app, but there is one caveat, which we'll address in a bit.
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What this new feature means for users is that, if the recipient doesn't also have an Amazon device, the message will now be forwarded to their smartphone, via SMS. That's the year after Amazon introduced Alexa, delivered through its Echo device. However, you can ask Alexa to send "a text", as that will command her to send SMS messages to your contacts. This means that Amazon can't now set up the service for iPhone users. Now, with the new text message feature, Alexa would be a closer contender to the Siri and Google assistant. While Alexa still can't read messages aloud to its users, the broad collection of other skills available on the platform still help it dominate the market. However, the messaging was restricted to Amazon's ecosystem only and not to other devices. However, now we know what the company was aiming for, for it to be used like a phone. The 2018 Alexa Super Bowl ad campaign explores a world where Alexa has lost her voice, and she gets replaced by some of the world's most-charismatic celebrities.
Google's Assistant software is also able to answer follow-up questions on the same topic, in a near-conversation style, but Echo as yet can not.