Google is finally getting around to fixing an issue with its Home ecosystem when it comes to video calls, reports indicate. Namely, by stopping those calls from arriving on smart speakers linked to a Google Home ecosystem. Specifically, that’s when users aren’t even there to answer them.
How is Google stopping calls to Home speakers when you’re not home?
Now, the way Google is implementing this is fairly straightforward and not even all that novel. In fact, it’s already been available on the Assistant-related app on iOS devices for some time now. But it is undoubtedly going to be more than welcome for those users who have linked their Duo or other video calling apps to their smart home. Especially those who want to get the most out of their smart home.
Summarily, a new setting has been added labeled “Only ring when home” in the “Device & Call Settings” segment of the app. As is implied, pressing the “Set up” button there will start by requesting access to location data. Once users agree to that, the system will effectively stop calls from directing to the associated speakers and smart displays. Explicitly when the user’s phone isn’t in the vicinity of the associated address.
The caveat, of course, is that the location data will also be used for Home & Away Routines. So home automation routines will also have access to the location data. At least insofar as determining whether or not the primary Home user is, in fact, at home.
When, exactly, is this going to arrive for you?
Now, as of this writing, the new feature hasn’t arrived everywhere or for everybody just yet. It’s already widely available on iOS via the Assistant app. But the rollout to Android is just starting in the Google Home app. And this appears to be a slow rollout too, so it could be some time before users see it.