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If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home device in your home, you can make free calls to mobile phone and landline numbers.
Here’s how to set up your smart speaker to make calls.
Note: If you have the new Apple HomePod, you cannot use it to make a call, yet. You can only use it as a speakerphone.
Any Google Home smart speaker can make calls based on your voice commands. There is no incoming call feature at the moment.
Only users in the US and Canada can make calls. The only languages available are English, Canadian English and French Canadian.
1. Make sure your software is up to date
You need to have the latest versions of Google Home firmware and Google app to make calls from your Google Home speaker.
Use this page to check that you have the latest Google Home firmware version.
Your Google app version should be 7.17 or higher. Check the about section of the Google app for the app version number. If it’s not the latest version, update it on the Play store.
2. Make sure your account is linked to Google Home
To use Google Home, you must link your personal Google account. Once you connect your account, it’s easy to make calls. Check this help page for help on checking which accounts are currently linked to your Google Home. If you want to set up an additional account, see this page for help.
Google Home supports multiple user accounts. It can recognize different voices and use each person’s synced contacts to make a call.
3. Make sure personal results are turned on
Google Home will not provide personalized results to queries unless the ‘personal results’ setting is turned on. It needs to be on for Google Home to access your contacts.
Google app > Menu > More Settings > Devices > Select Device > Adjust settings for this device > Turn on ‘Personal results’ slider
4. Sync your contacts
After turning on ‘Personal results’ Google Home can automatically access your Google contacts. You don’t need to sync those.
If there are additional contacts on your phone, sync them to Google first before making a call. To do this, just turn on ‘Device Information’ setting on the Google app.
Google app > Menu > Settings > Accounts and Privacy > Google Activity Controls > Device Information > On
It may take several minutes for contacts syncing to complete.
5. Make a call
Google Home automatically uses an unlisted number to make calls unless you set it to display your own personal number. It will display ‘Private’ or ‘Anonymous’ until you change the setting.
To display your number go to the add or change phone number setting on your Google app.
Google app > Menu > More settings > Services > Calls on speakers > Edit > Add or change phone number > Enter your personal phone number > Add
To make a call, use a voice command. You can call by number or contact name. You can also call businesses.
To hold a call, press and hold the top of Google Home or use a voice command (e.g. “Hey Google, hold the call”).
To end a call, tap once at the top of the Google Home device or use a voice command (e.g. “Hey Google, hang up”).
- Certain functions such as news and weather will be unavailable during the call.
- Google Home does not record phone conversations.
- You can make international and premium calls only if you have linked your Google Voice or Project Fi account. If you have none of those accounts, you can make free calls to most numbers in the US and Canada.
- Emergency calls are not possible via Google Home.
Any Echo speaker including the Amazon Echo 2 and Echo Dot can make calls for free to landline and mobile phone numbers in the US, Mexico and Canada. At the moment, inbound calls from landline and mobile phone numbers are not supported.
If you have an Echo Spot or Echo Show, you can make video calls to other people who also own an Echo Spot/Show.
You have to sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging before making and receiving calls. This requires your phone number, an Amazon account and the Alexa app installed on your phone.
1. Making an Alexa-to-Alexa call
You can call someone who has a compatible Echo device. They must be in your Alexa-to-Alexa contacts list. They also must have signed up for Alexa Calling and Messaging.
Use a voice command to initiate a call to another Alexa device e.g. “Call Mary”.
You can also receive an Alexa-to-Alexa call. The speaker will turn green and Alexa will say who’s calling. Use the ”Answer” or “Ignore” commands to take or reject an incoming call.
2. Making an Alexa-to-phone number/landline call
The Alexa app automatically fetches contacts from your phone’s phone book after you sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging.
So you just need to say the name of the contact to initiate a call. For landline calls, spell out the number.
- Emergency calls like 911 are not supported.
- Premium rate and international calls are not possible.
- You cannot dial by letters. Numbers only.