Google supported calls from smart speakers to be axed in the UK

Google supported calls from smart speakers to be axed in the UK

If you like to make Google supported calls from your smart speaker or smart display, and you live in the UK, we have some bad news: Google is pulling the feature before the New Year.

On its support page (via AndroidPolice), Google has quietly updated its policies, saying the feature is set to go away by mid-December.

Starting in mid-December 2020, if you’re in the UK, you won’t be able to make Google supported calls on your speaker or display. You’ll still be able to make audio or video calls through Duo.

The feature allowed users to pair an unlisted number or phone number (for caller ID) to their Assistant device. Users in the UK could then ring other folks in the UK at no extra cost. Users in the U.S. and Canada can do the same thing, allowing them to make regional calls over a speaker or display.

The change will limit how Google users in the UK can communicate over smart speakers and smart displays. Here in the U.S., in addition to making free calls, we can link a Google Voice or Google Fi number to a smart speaker or smart display and make calls to any number at carrier rates. Without the free call option, UK residents will have Duo as their only option.

There’s no exact date for when the feature will disappear, just a general timeline of mid-December. That’s unfortunate because it likely means you won’t be able to make Google-supported calls during the holidays — a time when you’d expect a lot more smart speakers and smart displays to flood the market.

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Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.