How to set up hands-free calling on the Google Home

Google Home
The future is coming, and it’s going to be smart. Smart home assistants are becoming more and more useful around the house helping to keep lists, set timers, and answer questions. They are connected to everything from lights to locks to televisions, and now they are connected to your contacts.

Google Home has hands-free calling, allowing users to call most numbers in the United States and Canada for free, but how do you set up this wonderful feature, you ask. Here is a detailed guide on how to set up hands-free calling on the Google Home.

Setup

Before you can set up hands-free calling, you need a Google Home. Once you have set up your Google Home you can immediately start calling businesses without any further setup needed. Calling your personal contacts, however, requires a little more effort.

Sync your contacts

Whether you have an Android or iOS device, the first step is to turn on your Personal Results in the Google Home app.

  1. If you do not have the Google Home app, download it from the Google Play Store for Android devices or the App Store for iOS devices.
  2. Open the Google Home app.
  3. Check to make sure your phone or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Google Home.
  4. In the top left-hand corner, tap the Menu icon and confirm that the Google Account listed is the one linked to your Google Home.
    1.  If it is not the same, you need to switch accounts.
    2. Tap the triangle and select the correct account name to change accounts.
  5. Once the correct Google Account is listed, tap Menu in the top left corner of the app Home screen.
  6. Tap More settings.
  7. Under Devices, choose the Google Home you wish to connect your contacts to.
  8. Find and tap the section labeled Adjust settings for this device.
  9. Turn on Personal results by moving the slider to the right.

Repeat this process for each Google Home device you want connected to your contacts.

The next step is to sync your device’s contacts with your Google Home device. All of your Google Contacts are available to your Google Home, but to call your contacts on your device you need to sync them with your Google Home first. This step is different depending on if you are using an Android or iOS device.

Android

  1. If you do not have the Google App, download it from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open the Google app.
  3. Tap Menu > Settings > Accounts & privacy > Google activity controls > Device information.
  4. Turn on Device information.

It may take a few minutes for your contacts to be available on your Google Home while they sync to your device.

iOS

One way to sync your device contacts with your Google home is to first sync them with your Google Assistant.

  1. If you do not have the Google Assistant app, download it from the App Store.
  2. Open the Google Assistant app.
  3. Ensure that your Assistant has access to the contacts on your device.
    1. To do this say “OK, Google, call mom.”
    2. If your Assistant does not have access to your contacts, a screen will pop up on your mobile device asking for permission.
    3. Grant your Assistant permission to access your contacts.
  4. The contacts on your device will now be synced with your Google Assistant periodically.

If you don’t want to use Google Assistant you can change the default contact account on your mobile device to create new contacts as Google Contacts.

If you haven’t added a Gmail account on your mobile device:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Contacts > Accounts > Add account.
  3. Select Google.
  4. Enter your email and password.
  5. Switch “Contacts” on.
  6. Tap Save.
  7. Tap Contacts > Default Account.
  8. Select Gmail.

If you already have a Gmail account on your mobile device:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Contacts > Default Account.
  3. Select Gmail.
  4. Turn this on.

It may take a few minutes for your contacts to be available on your Google Home while they sync to your device.

Caller ID

An option, independent of the type of mobile device you use, is to display your Project Fi or Google Voice number on outbound calls. This only works if you have a Project Fi or Google Voice account and is available for U.S. calls only.

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap the Menu icon and make sure the Google Account listed is the one linked to your Google Home.
  3. Tap More settings.
  4. Under Services, tap Calls.
  5. Select from the services available to you.

If you do not have a Project Fi or Google Voice number or choose not to display it, your outbound calls will use an unlisted number. Recipients of your calls will see something along the lines of “Private” or “Anonymous” as the Caller ID.

Make a call

To make a call using your Google Home, say “Hey Google,” then follow it with a command. You can call by business name, by the contact name in your contact list, or by a number. If you call by saying a contact’s name you must turn on Personal Results and give access to your device’s contacts. Another option is to ask for the nearest business and then say “Call them.”

End a call

Ending a call on your Google Home is fairly easy, you have two options. You can tap on the top of the Google Home or say “Hey Google, stop/disconnect/end call/hang up.” Even if the recipient ends the call, you will hear the end call tone until you also end the call.

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