Google has refused to be left behind by Amazon in the voice-controlled smart speaker market and has introduced free calls from Home devices, just months after its rival did the same.
Google first announced it would be adding calling capabilities at its I/O Developer Conference in May, the same month that Amazon introduced its Echo calling function alongside the unveiling of its Echo Show device.
The hands-free calling feature on Google Home works by simply asking Assistant to call businesses or Google contacts. This is done by using the traditional “OK Google” or “Hey Google” followed by “call (recipient)”. Interestingly, the feature doesn’t support calls to the emergency services.
For the time being, the call recipient will see the caller’s ID as ‘unknown’ or ‘no caller ID’ but Google says it will be possible to display the caller’s mobile number by the end of the year. For Google Voice or Project Fi users, the option to display their phone number is already an option through the Assistant settings in the Google Home app.
The feature is being rolled out to Home users in the US and Canada, and there is no word on when we can expect it to be introduced elsewhere.