SmartThings implements a fix for its recently buggy integration with Google Home


You might recall that last month there were reports that a Google Home called 911 during a domestic dispute in New Mexico, but that was later amended to say that it was an unknown smart speaker.

Google Home is now able to make phone calls, as long as you're in the USA or Canada.

As Google said when this feature was first announced, Home doesn't actually use your cellphone to place a call.

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To start a call, you have to say "OK Google, call (name of the recipient stored in your Google Contacts)". If, for example, you are living with roommates (Google Assistant can recognize up to six different voices), the device will be able to detect who is asking Google Assistant to call their own dad. And that leads us to the annoying part: unless you're a Google Voice or Project Fi user, people you're calling won't see your actual number when the incoming call pops up.

SmartThings blamed it on Google, Google stayed mum, users discovered the issue happened with Alexa too (but at least Alexa allowed them to remove devices they didn't need, which the Google Home app doesn't), and long story short: it wasn't clear if that was ever going to be solved and by whom it would be.

Unfortunately, calls will show up on the recipient's phone as "Unknown" or "No Caller ID" unless you have Google Voice or Project Fi, Google's wireless service. It is also worth noting that Google Home placed these call over Wi-Fi, which means that your phone plan's minutes are not used. It's not entirely clear right now what the user experience will be like when you call a business (but see the video below).

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When is Google Home calling arriving? You can also ask Home to call local businesses using natural language like "call the nearest coffee shop". Interested users are required to log onto their Google Home apps on their preferred devices. In addition to being U.S- and Canada-only, this functionality has just begun rolling out, so not all users will see it immediately.

Google has also published an official "Preview Program" page on its website, which provides a complete list of information regarding the program, what it offers users and how to carry out the functionality.

Additionally, to sync contacts everywhere, make sure you head into the Google app on your phone and follow through Settings Accounts and Privacy Google activity controls Device information. Home already has access to your Google Contacts and it can smartly make calls to the right person on your command.

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Once the feature becomes available on your device, you won't have to do much to get it to work. If you're in the United Kingdom, call 0800 026 1217.