It’s been more than a year since Google launched Google Home, the Google Assistant powered smart speaker. Well, there have been some rivals to Google on this front, the biggest one being Amazon’s Echo line of speakers. In spite of the competition, Google Home speaker has managed well to have itself ‘heard’. This versatile speaker is ready to carry out a number of tasks at your simple voice command. You could have it keep you up to date with the latest news or make it play videos and songs of your choice. You can integrate it with the home automation system and control various appliances and electronic items such as lights, fans, thermostats and more. You can literally do a lot!
And now, adding to its already exhaustive lists of features, Google has introduced the Calling service to Google Home. This service lets you make calls to your Google contacts, specific phone numbers and even Google Map listed locations with just a voice command. In this article, we will learn how to set up Google Home with your smartphone and use it to make calls. Keep reading our Google home review!
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HOW TO SETUP GOOGLE HOME
The first thing you need to do is set up the Google Home speaker so that you could use it with your smartphone. This won’t be difficult but follow each step carefully. Here is what you need to do:
- Plug Google Home into the power source and switch it on
- Download and install Google Home app on your device (it is available for Android and iOS both)
- Launch Google Home and grant it all the necessary permissions when the prompts appear including the Location access. Also, Accept the Terms & Conditions
- App will start looking for the Google Home devices within the range
- Once the device is located, you will be redirected to the ‘Sign in’ screen. You will need to sign in with your Google ID
- Tap on ‘Devices’ icon on the upper right corner of the screen (it is a speaker and TV icon)
- Tap ‘Set Up’ on the next screen
- The app will again start scanning for the Google Home devices within the range. Once your Google Home has been located, it will be displayed on the screen in a card. Tap ‘Set up’ on the card
- You may see a warning saying that “This Google Home was manufactured for a different country, and may not be compatible with your WiFi network.” Ignore this warning and tap ‘Proceed’
- Follow the onscreen instructions to set up the device and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Make sure it is connected to the same network as your smartphone
- Once that’s done, you will be required to enter the location. Enter your location.
- The app will then ask you to choose the default media player you want to use Google Home with. The app is compatible with a wide range of players including Spotify, YouTube, Pandora etc.)
- The setup is complete. You will now be redirected to the Google Home Tutorial where you can learn how to use the device. If you don’t wish to go through the tutorial, simply tap ‘Skip’
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HOW TO MAKE PHONE CALLS WITH GOOGLE HOME
Backed by Google Assistant, Google Home speaker can do a lot of things for you. It can switch off the lights for you or play the videos. All it needs is a voice command. For Google Home to be able to do all these things, you sure must have Home Automation system set up in your home. But, that’s a different story altogether. I am not getting there. What I am going to tell you today is how you can use Google Home to make phone calls. This feature has only very recently been rolled out and not a lot of us know how to use it. So, without further ado, let’s jump into action.
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Update The Firmware
The ability to make phone calls, as aforementioned, is very new and is integrated only with the latest firmware version, which is 1.26.93937. So, make sure you have it.
- Open Google Home app on your smartphone and tap on the Device icon on the upper right corner (it depicts a TV and Speaker).
- Now tap the menu icon on the top right
- Tap Settings from the drop-down
- You will be able to see the firmware version on the bottom in the ‘Information’ section. If the version is not up to date, you can update it here manually
How to Make Calls?
That would be the easiest part. In fact, the whole objective of Google Home is to make your life simpler. Isn’t it?
To make calls, all you need to do is give the voice command to Google Home. Let’s say you have a friend John Doe whom you want to make the call, just say “OK Google Call John Doe” or you can also say “Hey Google, Call John Doe.”
There is a little catch here. The contact you are trying to call must be saved in your Google account. Having the number only in your phone contacts would not work. You will need to sync. Well, I would say there is no harm at all in syncing. Google Contacts serves as a backup for your contacts.
Google Home also lets you make calls to specific numbers even if they are not saved on Google Contacts. All you will need to do is speak out the number. So, if you were to call a number 987-654-3210, just say “Hey Google, call 987-654-3210.”
Please voice out the hyphens though. Just the numbers!
Now, there is another catch! Google Home is available in only a few countries. And, calling feature hasn’t been rolled out in all the countries where it is available. You can make calls only if you are a resident of the USA or Canada.
WHAT’S MORE TO GOOGLE HOME CALLING FEATURE
Oh yes! You guessed it right. There is more to Google Home than we have talked about. This device can do some really cool things for you.
Let’s say you are hungry and want to have some Chinese food! Google Home will let you get in touch with the nearest Chinese restaurant without you having to type in anything. All you gotta do is give the command “Hey Google, call the nearest Chinese restaurant”. And bingo! It will connect you to the one nearest to you.
How does Google Home do that you may wonder. Well, it’s simple! Remember allowing the app location permission? The app will search for the nearest Chinese food in Google and make the call automatically. You can look up for any location you want as long as it is listed on Google Map.
I find this really cool and I am sure you will too!
DOES IT USE MOBILE SERVICE TO MAKE CALLS?
Absolutely not! Google Home uses the Wi-Fi service to make VoIP calls. The device and your smartphone must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network; that’s it! Even if you turn off the cellular service, you will be able to make the calls to the numbers saved on your Google Contacts. Not everyone has unlimited daytime minutes and this feature could save you a lot of money.
The other point to note is that the receiver will not see your caller ID or phone number on the incoming call. However, if you have happened to link your Google Voice number to Google Home app, the Voice number will appear on the screen of the receiver.
GOOGLE HOME REVIEW
Google Home sure looks like an incredible gadget to own. Besides letting you control home automation system with voice commands, this device also makes phone calls for you. I personally find it pretty cool. I don’t even have to raise a finger to make the call. What’s more incredible is that it does not use my mobile network and thus I have no reason to worry about my daytime minutes.
Google Home isn’t available in many countries. Not yet! But the way it is making headway to mainstream glory, it is only a matter of time before you see it at your nearby gadget store.