Google Home, a voice-activated smart speaker powered by artificial intelligence software called Google Assistant, is adding calls to its list of features.
Starting today, users with the$109 speaker can now say “Hey Google, call…” to dial mobile and landline numbers hands-free over Wi-Fi. Google Home can recognize the name of a contact in your address book, or a business like “nearest florist.” But beware — you can’t call 911 and other emergency services through Home.
Unlike Android users, whose contacts are synced with Google Contacts by default, iOS users will only be able to access their Google Contacts through Home. Home won’t be able to call numbers you’ve only saved to your iPhone. A Google spokesperson says the team is “working on allowing iOS users a more seamless experience soon.”
The device, which recently added support for multiple accounts and voice recognition
, can also determine which “dad,” “mom,” or other common nickname you want to call based on your voice.
Unfortunately, if whoever you’re calling has caller ID, “Unknown” or “No Caller ID” will appear when a Google Home user rings. The company says that by the end of the year, you’ll have the option to display your own mobile number when you place calls, but Google did not offer details on how that would work. Signing up for Google Voice, however, will not be necessary.
Those withGoogle Voice orProject Fi accounts can already choose to have their number displayed to recipients in the app. The calling feature is only available to US and Canada customers for now, and Google has not specified whether calling will roll out to other countries.