Google brings free voice calling to Home speakers in the UK

The feature, which was announced at Google’s I/O developer conference in 2017, launched in the US in August. Now, thanks to an update, UK owners of the Home and Home Mini smart speakers will also be able to make free, hands-free calls to UK numbers over its wi-fi connection.

MORE: 21 Google Home tips, tricks and features

Google Assistant can not only call anyone in your Google Contacts, but also businesses in Britain, such as your local dentist or favourite restaurant. All users have to do is say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google", followed by the contact or business name.

Google Assistant can recognise up to six users too, so those sharing a Home speaker with others should in theory be able to say, “Call Mum”, and get the right mother on the line.

The best part? You don’t need your phone to hand, as you do with rivals. Amazon Alexa speakers can only make calls between Echo devices and the Alexa app, while Apple’s HomePod can only act as a hands-free speaker during calls.

It's certainly a handy feature, although Google will ultimately need to pull more tricks out of its sleeve to truly compete with its aforementioned rivals in the saturated smart speaker market. And ideally improve the sound quality.

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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.