Hands–free calls from a smart speaker might not seem like a big deal.
But Google’s decision to bring launch its Google Home calling tool in the UK could have major ramifications for mobile networks, as well as offering you the chance to save a few quid in the process.
Here are five things you need to know.
1 Direct calls, no smartphone
Unlike Amazon’s Alexa, which makes calls via smartphones with the Alexa app, or Apple’s HomePod, which merely acts as a speaker for calls being made on an iPhone, calls using Google Home don’t require a smartphone.
That means all you have to do it say ‘OK, Google’ or ‘Hey, Google’, followed by the name of the person you want to speak with, and the speaker will do the rest for you.
2 Free calls too
This is where calling from Google Home really comes into its own. Calls via the smart speaker won’t cost a penny.
The speaker uses Google Contacts, pulling mobile and landline numbers from a user’s address book in order to connect over the internet.
The same can be done for millions of businesses.
Although free calls largely come as standard on most mobile contracts these days, this is extremely enticing for those looking to make additional savings on their monthly or PAYG bills.
3 No mix-ups with multiple users
Because Google Home can recognise the difference between up to six different voices, there should be no confusion if different users in the same home try to call contacts with the same name.
If your housemate says ‘Call Mum’, they won’t wind up speaking to your parents, and vice versa.
4 Caller ID available
It’s possible too, to set up your Google Home speaker to show your mobile number when making calls.
The result is that you won’t wind up being ignored by your pals when you ring and it shows up as ‘Unknown Number’.
Essentially, this means that Google Home can act as your smart, at–home phone.
5 Update rolling out now
The required software bump to get calls working on Google Home is rolling out this week.
It comes as the search giant slashes the cost of the coral version of its Home Mini speaker to just £39 as part of a Mother’s Day promotion.
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