Google Home gets free phone calls in the US and Canada

Enlarge / Google Home. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

At I/O 2017, Google promised that Google Home would get the ability to make phone calls. Today, the feature is rolling out to users in the US and Canada.

Google Home users can call businesses listed in Google Maps or people in Google Contacts with a simple “OK Google, call [whoever].” It also combines Google Contact’s relationship knowledge and Google Home’s multi-user support, allowing people to say something like “Call my mom” and have the system accurately look up and dial the right person.

Calls are free to anyone in the US and Canada. For most people, international calls and premium numbers are not supported, and the recipient will see “Unknown” or “No Caller ID.” Subscribers to Google’s Project Fi MVNO service or Google Voice numbers get a whole other experience, though: there’s an option in the settings to have caller ID show your Google number, and international and 900 numbers can be billed to your account at the usual rate. For everyone else, Google says that, “by the end of the year,” you’ll be able to link any mobile number to the Google Home for caller ID. 911 calls aren’t supported, and it doesn’t sound like it can receive calls to your number.

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