One super-nifty feature about Google’s line of smart speaker and smart display devices is the ability to make free calls to most U.S., Canadian, or U.K. numbers without needing to tie in your cellular carrier. According to a support document on the company’s Nest Help pages, this may be soon changing for those in the U.K.
Currently, there are several ways to make a phone call through your Google smart speaker or smart display.
- If you have Google Fi, Google Voice, Telecom Italia, or Telstra, you can simply link your phone number to your speaker or display.
- If you have a Google Duo account. But this doesn’t tie in with a phone number, so you’ll only be able to call known contacts and other Nest devices.
- If you use Google’s own free calling system. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, you can call most numbers within those two countries for free. If you’re in the U.K., you can call most U.K. phone numbers for free. This option pairs up an unlisted phone number to your account, unless, of course, you tie your own phone number to the service.
If you’re in the U.K., you can’t currently link your carrier’s phone number to a smart speaker or display. And beginning in mid-December 2020, this means that you’ll be stuck with making video or audio calls through Google’s own Duo service.
Of course, those in the United States or Canada can still continue to use this service uninterrupted.