Google Home users in the US and Canada can now make free voice calls using Google’s shiny little smart speaker. You can call anyone on your contact list, as well as millions of companies in North America, all hands-free. And best of all, it’s all done over Wi-Fi.

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The Amazon Echo was a game changer as it forced people to actively install listening devices in their homes. Google Home is Google’s answer to Echo, and that’s a very good thing too. However, Amazon has added voice calls to echo, which in May, which left Google playing catch up.

OK Google, Phone Home

Google is now adding voice calls to the already impressive Home skillset. Homeowners in the US and Canada can call anyone on their contact list for free if they are also in the US or Canada. And it’s as easy as typing «OK Google» followed by the name of the person you want to call.

It doesn’t matter if the person you’re calling is at home, at the office, or on their mobile phone, as long as you have a number saved in Google Contacts. Google Home can even recognize the voices of individual users, which means you can say something like, «OK Google, call dad» and Google will know which dad you’re referring to.

Google Home can also call any of the millions of businesses located across the US or Canada. You can contact the business by name or location, or you can simply ask Google to call the nearest bakery or coffee shop. All calls are made over your Wi-Fi connection, which completely excludes your phone.

The only downside to all this is that the recipient of your call will not be able to see your phone number. Instead, they will see «Unknown» or «No caller number». This means that many calls may go unanswered. This does not apply to Google Voice or Project Fi users, who may choose to display their number.

Trio of smart speakers

By allowing users to make voice calls through Home, Google hopes to make everyone more dependent on its technology. The ultimate goal is to make Google Home an essential technology that we should all own. That is, if Google manages to see off both the Amazon Echo and the Apple HomePod

Do you have Google Home? If yes, what are you using it for? Do you see yourself making voice calls? If yes, under what circumstances? Do you think smart speakers are the future? Or are they just a stop on the way to the future? Please let us know in the comments below!

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