Google Home gets free voice calling in the UK

Google HomeAround half a year after introducing voice calling in the US, Google is now rolling out the same feature on its Home smart speaker in the UK.

The introduction of voice calling means that Brits will now be able to make free calls to any contacts stored in their Gmail account or to any businesses. The calls are free to all UK landlines and mobile phones with paid international calling, for the time being, only possible in the US. Google Home owners cannot use the feature to call the emergency services.

Hands-free calling can be activated by saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google” followed by “call (contact, business name or number)”. Until users choose to display their own number on outbound call, the recipient of the call will see either ‘Private’ or ‘Anonymous’ as the caller ID. Furthermore, users have the option to ask Assistant to “Redial” the last number they called. There is also an option to put the other person on hold and talk to Assistant before resuming the call.

Google’s rival Amazon introduced voice calling to its Echo devices in the UK last year. However, Amazon’s feature only enables users to call other Echo devices or through the Alexa app.