Google Home hands-free calling is here, but doesn't yet have caller ID

From PC World: OK Google, phone Home. First announced at I/O in May, Google is ready to launch hands-free calling via its voice-activated Home speaker, letting you get in touch with anyone in the U.S. or Canada without lifting a finger—and for free.

Starting Wednesday, you’ll be able to use your Home speaker to place a call to virtually any person in your contacts or business across the U.S. or Canada, but there’s a catch: The recipient won’t know who’s calling. Since Google Home uses its own number to place the call, the recipient will see “Unknown” or “No Caller ID” on their end. Google says it hopes to allow users to link their mobile numbers by the end of the year.

Once the feature becomes available on your device, you won’t have to do much to get it to work. There’s no new service to sign up for, or complicated carrier updates. All you need is to allow Google Home to access your contacts (which is automatic on Android but requires a permissions allowance on iOS). Once granting that permission, you’ll be able to say, “OK Google, call mom,” and it will place a call. Additionally, you can contact businesses by saying things like, “Call the closest florist,” or “Call the pizza place on Front Street.”

The system is currently only available for outgoing calls, so you won’t be able to ask Home to answer incoming calls when your hands are occupied. Google hasn’t announced whether it will support Home-to-Home calling in the future.

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