Google’s centerpiece offering for a Smart Home, the Google Home, has received an update which will now let users make free calls — be it a landline, mobile at home or office — using the Assistant.
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Assistant on Google Home will now allow all users in the USA and Canada to make free domestic phone calls. These free calls aren’t limited to your personal contacts, but can also be used to contact businesses across the two countries.
Google Home is being updated with the Hands-free calling feature that’ll allow you to call up a restaurant while dressing up to reserve a table or call your mum while cooking to get the recipe right.
“Calling the bakery on 24th Street, ordering flowers from the nearest florist, and wishing dad a happy birthday are now as easy as ‘Hey Google’. Because the Assistant on Google Home recognizes your voice, you’ll reach your dad instead of just any dad,” Google stated.
To make a free voice call, all you need to do is say ‘Hey Google, call (contact’s name)’ and let the Assistant do its magic. The calls are made over your WiFi connection.
Currently, the recipient of these phone calls will not receive the caller ID, instead will just see ‘Unknown’ or ‘No caller ID’ flashing. Google has stated that this will be resolved by the end of the year when user’s own mobile number will be displayed when these free calls are made.
“However, if you’re a Google Voice or Project Fi user, you can already choose to have the person on the other end see your phone number by going to your Assistant settings accessible in the Google Home app,” the company added.
Since there is no caller ID feature yet available on the service which could correctly identify the caller, Google Home Assistants free calls feature can not be used to contact the police. Meaning you can not dial 911.
Free calls can only be made across US and Canada. If you need to call a premium rate number or an international number, you’ll need to link your Project Fi or Google Voice account and will be billed at the respective rates.