Google Assistant will limit calls to numbers in the contact list

Google Home is imposing surprising new restrictions on the calls that users can make by asking Google Assistant. Only numbers saved in Google Contacts will be reachable by asking the voice assistant from December.

Google home phone

The Google Home feed tab recently started broadcasting what it called a “significant call change,” explaining the change. While Nest Hub smart displays and other Google Assistant-enabled devices can call someone by reciting their phone number, the new method requires either using an existing contact or signing in and saving one. new to someone on this list.

“As of December 2021, phone calls supported by Google from your speakers, smart screens and smart clocks can only be made to numbers from your Google contacts. You can ask Google Assistant to make phone calls to your friends, family, and businesses on your speaker, smart display, or smart clock. You can’t receive incoming phone calls, ”Google explained in an updated support article. “After this change, if you try to call a number that is not saved in Google Contacts, you will be given the option to add it. If you add the number, Google Assistant will make the call. add, Google Assistant will cancel the call.

Call on Google

Google Assistant only started allowing inbound calls last year, starting with Telstra subscribers in Australia. The feature later spread to the United States, including a setting for smart home devices to ring only when the user is actually at home. The voice-activated speed dial feature for family contacts served a similar purpose. It’s a little different from how Amazon Alexa started linking to AT&T phone numbers so that Echo smart speakers can make or receive calls.

Google did not say why the numbers should be saved. This can be in response to complaints about unwanted calls or wrong numbers. Dropping ad hoc phone calls seems odd, especially if someone wants to call a business number they don’t need to register. It also flies in the face of Google’s tendency to keep adding and expanding functionality for its smart home devices. Google may also have simply decided that it was not worth the extra processing power due to a small group of users, but it will certainly add friction to Google Assistant’s phone calls at home under certain circumstances.

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