Google has finally started rolling out their new Google Home feature that allows you to call someone. As in, actually call their real cell phone, not just ring their Google Home app if they happen to have one installed.
The feature only works in you are in the US or Canada at the moment and requires that you speak English (sorry, my French Canadian friends) and although all of the things you need to make it work aren’t immediately apparent, once you know, it’s pretty easy.
Here’s everything you need to start making calls using the Google Home.
Check You Have the Updates
First, make sure you’re Google Home is on firmware 1.26.93937 or higher.
Connect your phone to the same Wi-Fi network as your Google Home.
Open the Google Home App.
Tap Menu then tap Devices.
Tap the three dots on the device card for the Google Home you want to check.
Scroll down and look for Cast Firmware Version and, again, make sure it is the same or a higher number than the one above.
Then you’ll need to make sure your app is on the right version as well (7.7 or higher).
Open the Play Store or App Store on your phone and just make sure to tap Update on the app and get it on the latest updated version.
After that, you need to make sure your Google Account is connected correctly by signing into it in the Google Home app if you haven’t already (you probably did since it asks you this when you first open the app, but just in case).
Turn on Personal Results & Sync Your Contacts
Now, we need to make sure the Google Home has access to “Personal Results” which means it will be allowed to see things like contacts and their phone numbers (important for making a call really).
Open the Google Home app.
Tap on the Menu button and then More Settings.
Under Devices, choose the Google Home.
Find the section that says “Adjust Settings for this Device” and turn on “Personal Results”.
Once we’ve given it permission, we need to sync our contacts with it.
Open the Google App (not the Google Home app this time).
Tap on the Menu and go to Settings.
Then go to Accounts & Privacy.
Tap on Google Activity Controls.
Tap Device Information.
Turn it On.
How to Make a Call
Now, you’re finally ready to make a call. Here are a list of the commands from Google’s site that pertains to calling.
Keep in mind that when you do call someone at the moment using Google Home, it’ll actually show up as a Private or Anonymous number by default, and considering most people I know won’t answer those types of numbers (myself included), you might want to give them a heads up one time so they know from then on it could be you.
Add Your Own Phone Number to Google Home
Now, if you want to add your own phone number to Google Home so that when you call from it, it shows your actual number, Google just recently enabled this.
To do it, open the Google Home app.
Tap on menu at the top left.
Tap on More Settings.
Tap on Calls on Speakers.
Tap on Your Own Number and add your phone number. Google will send you a verification code to your phone number via text to confirm it’s yours and then once you put that in you’re all set.
End a Call
To end the call, simply say “Hey, Google. Hang up”.
And there you go. From then on, you’ll be able to simply tell Google Home to call anyone in your contacts which is kinda neat and I’ve used it a few times now when cooking or just have my hands full.
Hopefully, that helped some people who were wondering how to use it or maybe didn’t know the feature was ready. Let me know how it worked for you in the comments and follow me on social for more tech.