Google Home can now make phone calls in the US and Canada

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Google is rolling out a long-awaited feature for its Google Home smart speaker today: voice calling. The company just announced that Home users in the US and Canada will very soon be able to call people in their contacts and local businesses using their voice and the signature “OK Google” command. That makes it more flexible than what Amazon is doing with Alexa / Echo-to-Echo calls and messaging. But you can’t call another Google Home from yours or answer calls with it; only outgoing calls work right now.

How to make phone calls with Google Home.

Voice calling is completely free so long as the call recipient is in the US or Canada. It works over Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t use your smartphone plan minutes. In fact, Google Home’s hands-free calling is separate from your smartphone altogether. And that leads us to the annoying part: unless you’re a Google Voice or Project Fi user, people you’re calling won’t see your actual number when the incoming call pops up. Instead, it’ll show as “unknown” or “no caller ID” — and who in their right mind ever answers those calls? Google Voice and Fi customers can tie their number to Home right away to avoid looking like a spammer, and Google says it’ll offer a better solution for everyone else by the end of this year.

The hands-free calling update for Google Home should start making its way out over the coming days in the United States and Canada. Google Home is also available in Australia, France, Germany, and the UK, but hands-free calling isn’t yet supported in those regions. Google has also recently opened up a preview program that allows Home owners to test out new and upcoming features before they’re available to everyone.

Comments

Happy to hear this. The wait has been unbearable.

this is so incredibly half-assed.

How so?

He meant about the lazy implementation. Cmon they’re Google not Microsoft?!?!

Huh? Are you just hating it because teh Google, or…

Only Alexa currently does something similar, and Alexa can only call other Alexa devices. This is great because it can call any phone number.

Why? Just because the number is "unknown"?
It’s incredibly stupid not to get Google Voice number because it offers just too many useful features

This is one of those times where Incremental upgrades is annoying… It works on ‘search’ and ‘photos’ and other google products, but this particular feature should wait until its nearly ready to start a rollout…

Now it seems just like a ‘me too’ move to prove they can do it (sort of).

ignorant comment. no other smart speakers call US and Canada numbers for free

Well, i guess i meant incremental as in outgoing, but no incoming. And caller ID built in…
Less so about how you pay for it.

I mean i have GVoice, but I also have a carrier number and most of my google accounts are linked with it, so it should make sense to make calls thru that or have that feature ready.

That is all. The price doesn’t bother me.

ignorant comment. no other smart speakers call US and Canada numbers for free

Better?

Your situation is not common IMO. Why in the world would anyone have GV number and not use it exclusively? You are passing up way too many nice features.
Also, why do you need multiple Google accounts? Pretty sure this (support multiple accounts from the same user on GH) isn’t a priority on Google’s list.

What is this comment I can’t even. Wait until it’s nearly ready? Ready for what? It literally does what no other smart speaker can do. It can call any phone number in the US.

Some people are beyond satisfying…

Not saying it has to be bugless, but solve incoming first. If that’s 6 weeks away, wait 6 weeks…

You can still send updates and fine tune it after that.
That’s just my personal opinion.

Again, I like their incremental upgrades on existing apps and the chrome browser. It lets us know they haven’t forgotten about it. But again, this is one where, like you said, no one else was doing it so why not take a few more moments to make it more complete.

Is that me trolling or being unreasonable? I didn’t think it was…

And of course, Google Voice and Google Fi are not available in Canada.

Still waiting for google voice in Canada…

+1 for no Google Voice in Canada, but I’m curious about one thing:

My building’s intercoms are linked to phone numbers. We don’t have a landline in our townhouse (because who has landlines in 2017 anymore?), so my housemate and I each have a buzzer code set to our cell phones. If we COULD get a Google Voice number in Canada, and change our intercom to that number, that would be super convenient, but we’d still have to find a way to press the number 9 to open the door. Has Google considered how to address things like touch-tone directories?

TL;DR: Would it be possible to "Okay Google, press 9" in the middle of a call?

This is really slick. I ask to call mom and get my mom, wife asks gets hers and then the kids it calls my wife.

We are also users of Google Voice so just tied it to our GV account and you get proper caller id.

This is another place the lack of knowing people apart with the Echo really sucks. With the Google Home it just knows voices versus the Echo has a command like everything that you have to memorize and use and then use a passcode.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑