The Google Home has received a handy feature that enables it to double as a phone for voice calls.
Users of the smart speaker in the U.S. and Canada can are now confirmed to be receiving the calling feature. You can dial anyone in your contacts as well as reach out to local businesses for free, but the recipient must also be from either of the two currently supported countries. This Google Home feature had been confirmed back in May.
Google Home only supports outgoing calls, which means you cannot call another person’s Home, a feature that is possible with Amazon’s Alexa. You can call anyone in your contacts regardless of whether they are using the speaker or not because you are essentially calling their actual phone.
If you have a Google Voice or Project Fi number, it’s also possible to make calls via the Home. But for those who are not on either platform, the recipient of the call from the Google Home will see an “Unknown” or “No caller ID” alert. This might make some people miss your calls or rather put you on voicemail.
So, if you are on Google Project Fi or Google Voice, it’s advisable that you link your number to the Home right away to prevent any such inconveniences. This will ensure that your number is displayed when you make a call to your contacts. Once you link your Google Project Fi or Voice number, you won’t require any settings configuration when placing a call. Google Home will access your Google Contacts and will only call whoever you want at your request. To link your number, go to your Google Home smartphone app for Android or iOS and find the Assistant settings.
Google has, however, promised that the feature will be updated to support everyone else by the end of 2017. This will stop making those not using Google Project Fi and Voice to look like scammers.
One pretty nifty feature you get is that Google Home can actually identify different users in a house by their voice. So, if you ask Home to call dad, it won’t ask whose dad to call. Cool huh! However, it’s still not possible to make 911 calls for now. Perhaps this is because the Google Home makes calls over Wi-Fi and not your mobile phone, something that could challenge the police when trying to locate the caller. But there should be a solution to this at some point.
Amazon’s Alexa already supports calling and messaging services. Since Google Home is a direct competitor to the former, it’s obvious that the search engine giant is after showing Amazon that “what you can do, I can do it even better!” But does it, really? Share your thoughts down below.