September 19, 2020
Google Home: Turn your smart speaker into a hands-free speakerphone with these steps.

Google Home: Turn your smart speaker into a hands-free speakerphone with these steps.


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Once you set it up, making calls on Google Home is easy.


Josh Miller/CNET

Google Home ($130 at HSN) smart speakers have all kinds of tricks up their sleeve; including some features that aren’t particularly obvious. You can connect directly to Google Home with Bluetooth, for example, just like other, “dumb” wireless speakers. They make great casual gaming consoles, too. And Google Home just might be the best hands-free speakerphone you didn’t even know you had.

But do you really need a dedicated speakerphone when your phone can already do that? Well, that’s the cool thing about it — you can use your phone to do other stuff, like scroll social media, play games or send texts, while you talk. And even the pintsize Nest Mini ($49 at Crutchfield) has a bigger, louder speaker than anything you’ll find in a mobile phone.

You’ll want any calls you make with Google Home to appear as your regular mobile number when you call friends and family, so we’ll show you how to set that up first. Then we’ve got everything else you need to know to start making calls with Google Home.

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Any Google Home smart speaker or display can be used as a speakerphone.


James Martin/CNET

First, link your mobile number and sync contacts

By default, Google Home will display “No Caller ID” when you make calls. You’ll want to change that, so people know who’s calling.

1. Open the Google Home app and tap Settings.

2. Scroll to Services and tap Voice and Video calls, then tap Mobile calling.

3. Tap Your own number, and then enter your number and the six-digit code Google texts you to verify.

4. Make sure Your own number is selected under Your linked services.

Before you can make a call by saying, “Hey, Google, call my mom,” you’ll need to let Google know your mom’s number. At the bottom of the Mobile calling settings page where you linked your phone number, beside Contacts Uploading, tap Turn On. This will upload your current contact list and set the Google Home app to sync with your contacts, so any changes you make down the road — like adding new contacts or changing a current contact’s number — will update in Google Home as well.

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With Voice Match, multiple people can sync their own contacts with Google Home.


James Martin/CNET

Use Voice Match to let multiple people make calls

If your Google Home setup has only one user (presumably you), anyone who interacts with it will be limited to calling only your contacts. But if you set up Voice Match, which allows multiple people to get personalized results on Google Home, they can also link their contacts and make calls from their own number. Here’s how to add someone to your Google Home:

1. Open the Google Home app and tap Settings.

2. Tap Household then Add a person.

3. Type the name of a contact on your phone or an email address and Google will send an invitation.

Note that the person must have or create a Google account and sign in to the Google Home app on their phone or tablet to join your household. Once they do, they’ll be given the option to accept or decline your invitation.

To set up Voice Match:

1. Open the Google Home app, and tap your personal icon in the upper right corner.

2. Tap Assistant on the top menu bar, and then tap Voice Match.

3. Tap Teach your Assistant your voice and follow the prompts to create a voice profile.

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Use your phone for other things when you make calls with Google Home.


Taylor Martin/CNET

Make calls using basic voice commands

Once you’re all set up, you can do almost everything you normally do when making calls on your smartphone, only with voice commands (that begin with either “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google”).

  • To start a call, say, “Call [contact name].”
  • If you’re calling a business, say, “Call [business name].” If there are multiple locations, add the street of the location you want to call. If you don’t know, you can ask where the nearest location is, then say, “Call that one.”
  • You can also say, “Redial.”

To end a call, you can say:

  • “End the call.”
  • “Hang up.”
  • “Disconnect.”
  • “Stop.”

You can also tell Google Home to “mute” and “unmute.”

The more uses you find for your Google Home, the more places you’ll want one in your home – check out these unusual (but delightfully useful) locations where you should put your extra smart speakers. To make sure the speaker you’re talking to is the one that responds, be sure to tweak the wake-word sensitivity. Here’s another thing Google Home’s great at you may have overlooked: it makes a great meteorologist.



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