How to make calls on Google Home smart speakers

Spoiler alert: It's super easy

How to set up Google Home phone calls
The Ambient is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

You can now use your Google Home, Home Mini, Home Max or Home Hub to make calls - neat, right? Yes, the feature that was once limited to Google Assistant in the US is now live in both the UK and Canada, and we're here to tell you exactly how it all works.

Remember - these aren't calls like the ones you make and take on a smartphone, with Wi-Fi instead powering the free chats between you and other numbers.

Read this: Google Assistant tips and tricks

You'll need to make sure you're running the latest software on the Google Home app and your Google Home device, but it's all very straightforward once you have contacts synced up. Read on below, as we guide you through all the angles.

How to make calls on Google Home smart speakers

How to set up calls on Google Home

Before you can make best use of the feature, and, crucially, call people from your contacts list, you're going to have to play around in the settings. Follow these steps and you should be ready to go within a few minutes.

In order to call your Google Contacts, you need to follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Home app and hit the Account tab in the bottom right, before going to Settings > More Settings.
  • On the next menu, tap through to the Assistant tab and scroll down to Assistant devices.
  • Select the speaker you want to make calls from and make sure Personal Results is turned on.

To be able to call contacts saved on your Android phone or tablet, you'll also need to do the following:

  • Open the Google Home app tap Account in the bottom right corner.
  • From there, make sure you're logged in to the correct Google Account and go to Settings > Accounts & privacy > Google activity controls > Device Information.
  • Turn on Device Information.

How to make voice calls on Google Home smart speakers

Add or hide your number

The first time you call someone through your Google Home, it won't allow your number/contact information to be displayed - it will come up as a private number. After that, though, if you add your number, it will display as you. Or, you know, you can do nothing and keep it private. To do this:

  • Open the Google Home app.
  • Go to Settings > More settings > Services > Voice & Video calls > Mobile calling.
  • Here, you can add or change your own 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.

How to make calls on Google Home smart speakers

How to make calls on Google Home

If you're calling a local business, all you have to do is say "Hey Google/OK Google" then "Call [the name of the business]". Luckily, Google has millions listed for services like Maps and ads, so there's a good chance you'll get it.

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.

Here's some more examples of how to make calls on your Google Home:

  • "Hey Google, call [contact name]."
  • "Ok Google, call [business name]."
  • “Hey Google, what is the nearest [business]?” - then, “Call them.”
  • “Ok Google, Call [phone number].”
  • "Hey Google, redial the last number."

Set up Voice Match for Google Home calls

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 last year, Google showed off Duplex, a future feature that'll 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.

Google has begun rolling out the feature in a select cities in 43 states in the the US, but it's still limited to Pixel users for now. It's still far quicker than we expected, but try not to get too excited - there's still not release date for the end product, so you'll just have to make calls the old fashioned voice assistant way for now. Below is a video of Duplex in action.

More Google Assistant how-to guides

TAGGED    google

Related stories

google How to control Sonos with Google Assistant
smart home How to use Control4 with the Google Assistant
google The ultimate guide to Android Auto
televisions Android TV tips, tricks and hidden secrets
google Google Assistant Smart Displays: Everything you need to know
google Chromecast built-in: Your essential guide to Google Cast in the home