[Update: Home calling rolling out] Google Duo tests Google Home calling and call reminders
Google is always testing new features in their apps. These features can range from groundbreaking to minor and anywhere in-between. Some of the new features being tested in Google Duo, Google’s audio and video chat app, are call reminders and the ability to call Google Home devices.
The first feature, which lets you set reminders for Duo calls, was spotted in a teardown by 9to5Google and enabled earlier today by Jane Manchun Wong. In collaboration with XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899, we were able to enable this feature for ourselves. As you would expect, it lets you set a reminder to call someone at a later date. When clicking on a name to call someone, it comes up with the window. In the center, it has a tile that says “Set a reminder to call later.” Clicking this opens a Google Inbox-like (RIP) window asking when you want to have the app remind you to call.
The next feature lets you call your Google Home devices directly from Duo. This does just as you would expect: It lets you call Google (Nest?) Home devices. This is something you can currently do through Google Assistant, but Google is adding a button at the top of your contact list to do it directly in Duo. It says it will call your “Home devices” but only my Google (Nest?) Home Hub rang. My other 7 Google Home and Google Home Mini devices stayed silent.
I can see the “call my home devices” feature being especially useful as landline phones are becoming less popular. This is an inexpensive and easy way to get calls in your house with only Internet access. This is specifically for calling home, but the Google (Nest?) Home Hub already allows accepting Duo calls going to your Google Account.
Both of these features are going to be super useful when they roll out. As with most of these features we enable, we do not know when they will widely roll out. It’s possible that Google may scrap these features before launch, too.
Update: Home calling rolling out
The ability to call Google Home devices from Google Duo was spotted back in June. The functionality appears to be rolling out now. This feature allows you to treat your Google Home devices essentially like a landline. Instead of calling a specific person, you can call the Home devices to broadcast the call to everyone. You should see “Call my Home devices” at the top of your contacts list in Google Duo.