Google has finally rolled out the hands-free voice calling feature to its Home speakers in the United Kingdom. Users in the U.K. will be able to call their friends or family members by simply saying the wake words “OK Google” or “Hey Google” and telling the speaker to call the person they want to speak with. The command prompts the voice-activated smart speaker to find the contact number of the person in question using Google Contacts, ultimately delivering a hands-free calling experience over a Wi-Fi connection.
The hands-free voice calling feature was first announced at the most recent Google I/O event held last May, marking another expansion in the smart speaker’s set of abilities. The voice calling functionality was then rolled out in the United States last August. The service is primarily designed for contacting businesses and individuals that are listed in your Google Contacts. Calls to those contacts will be entirely free as long as they are made or going out to a phone number in the same country. Meanwhile, international and premium numbers, although supported, will incur a cost that will be based on telecom rates. It’s worth pointing out that these types of numbers will only be supported if users link their Project Fi or Google Voice numbers to Google Home. Keep in mind that hands-free calls can only be outbound for the time being and can only reach phones, which means it’s not possible to call a Home speaker using another Home device or take advantage of the service over anything else that isn’t part of Google’s Home portfolio.
Additionally, users will be able to link their real phone number to Google Home so that they can be recognized by someone they’re calling or keep their pre-generated private number which will be visible to their recipients, the company said. It’s presently unclear when Google may introduce the same service to other markets where its smart speakers are already available for purchase.