Google is bringing hands-free calling to their Google Home smart speaker making the device even more useful than it already was. Today at Google I/O 2017 Google has officially announced the ability for owners of Google Home to make voice calls without having to reach for your smartphone. While Google Home powered by Google Assistant will still be mainly geared towards allowing users to complete tasks and manage other smart home equipment, Google is continuing to expand its capabilities and hands-free calling is the latest addition to its library of available features.
For kicking off this new feature hands-free calls will be available on Google Home in the U.S. and Canada, but Google does plan to eventually roll the feature out to other regions at some point, though they haven’t officially mentioned when they will actually make this capability available. Hands-free calls only supports outbound calls at the moment and only to phones, as it’s not possible to call the Google Home speaker from another Google Home or from any other device. Hands-free calls is also not available for everyone just yet and will be hitting all Google Home owners in the coming months, unfortunately for those that own Google Home though Google hasn’t given an exact time frame here.
When the feature does become available users will have the option to either stick with a pre-generated private number which is what will be visible to people that are receiving calls from a Google Home speaker, or if users choose to do so they can link their actual phone number so they’re recognizable to whoever they’re calling. What’s more is that because Google Home supports multiple users now, each user can link their own phone number to the speaker so that when they make a call, their phone number shows up and not just the number of the main user. As long as calls being made are going out to a phone number in the U.S. or Canada, the phone call will be completely free, which would suggest that a number being dialed that’s outside the U.S. or Canada would have a cost associated with it, but Google doesn’t actually mention what a cost would be, so for now it’s possible that only calls within the U.S. and Canada will work.