Your can use your Google Home, Home Mini or Home Max smart speaker to make calls, and the feature has moved beyond US only, and is now going global.
Not just calls actually but free Wi-Fi calls via the speaker itself, not your phone. On the occasion of Google Home voice calls going live in the UK, already available in the US and Canada, we thought we'd take you the (very few) steps to get up and running.
Read this: Google Assistant essential guide
1. Say 'Hey Google, call The Gantry'
If you're calling a local business, all you have to do is say "Hey Google/OK Google" then call plus the name of the business - Google has millions listed for services like Maps and ads so chances are, you'll get it.
If you have any problems at this stage, check the firmware of your smart speaker and if your Google Home app is up to date. Also check your Google account is linked to Google Home and be aware that the calls only work for US, UK and Canadian English and French Canadian right now.
2. Say 'Hey Google, call 0161 555 6102'
Ditto if you want to say the whole phone number out loud. Unlike Alexa, in certain countries, you can call any number - the person you're calling doesn't need to do or download anything.
3. Say 'Hey Google, call Grandma'
This is where you might have to jump into the Google Home and Google Assistant apps on your phone. If you want to make calls by saying the name of a contact, try it out but you might have to turn on some sharing settings.
First, open the Google Home app, then go to Menu (the hamburger) then More Settings, Devices. Select your Google Home speaker, then Adjust settings for this device and make sure the Personal Results slider is set to on (blue). You'll need to do this for every speaker individually if you have more than one.
The speaker will get your contacts from your Google Contacts from the account associated with Home, and your phone's contacts if they're synced. To do this, open the Google/Google Assistant app, then go to Menu (the hamburger), then Settings, Accounts and Privacy, Google activity controls and make sure Device Information is set to on (blue).
It sounds a fair bit of admin but you'll be ready and raring to go in a few minutes.
4. Add your number
The first time you call someone via a Google Home it annoyingly won't allow your number/contact info to be displayed - it will come up as a private number. After that, though, if you add your number it will display as you.
To do this, open the Google Home app. Go to Menu, then More settings then Calls on speakers, Edit, Add or change phone number. It will probably be set to private as default. You'll get an SMS to confirm and Google says you might have to re-verify the number every few months.
5. Let friends and family call their Grandmas
With Google's nifty Voice Match feature you can set up multiple users in the same house, all with access to their own personal info via different Google accounts.
You all need to have the Google Home app running on your individual phones and you need to train Assistant to recognise your voice first. Then you don't need to do anything else - as long as you've turned on and synced Personal Contacts, when it picks up your voice it will access your Contacts. Google says any guests or unlinked household members won't be able to call your contacts.
What about Google Duplex?
At its I/O conference this year, Google showed off Duplex, a future feature which will enable Assistant to make calls for you. Imagine getting Assistant to call your hairdresser or dentist to make an appointment for you. Pretty crazy stuff. Don't get too excited, there's no release date or ETA – so you'll just have to make calls the old fashioned voice assistant way for now, but below is a video of Duplex in action.
More Google Assistant how-to guides
- How to add Alexa to your Android phone
- How to use Google Home in the kitchen
- How to set up Voice Match with music and movie services on Google Home
- How to control Sonos with Google Assistant
- How to make voice calls on Google Home smart speakers
- How to add and control lights and devices with Google Assistant
- How to voice control Chromecast with Google Assistant
- How to set up multi-room audio with Google Assistant & Chromecast speakers
- How to set up guest mode for Google Home smart speakers
- How to pair your Google Home with better sounding Bluetooth speakers