Google Home powering up with hands-free calling, Spotify integration, and more

The Google Home smart speaker was one of the first products to utilize the powerful Google Assistant artificial intelligence platform. In direct competition with Amazon Alexa, Google Home provides you with smart and voice-dictated information that syncs across all of your Google services and apps. Today during the Google I/O 2017 keynote, Google announced a host of new features coming to Google Home including hands-free calling, Spotify integration, calendar reminders, and more.

One of the biggest advantages to a smart speaker, such as Google Home, is the ability to get information or accomplish tasks without needing to pick up your smartphone and type in a query. Hands-free calling is one of the new features coming to Google Home and will be a welcome addition indeed.

Simply ask Google Home to call one of your contacts and the smart speaker will dial up that person’s primary number, mobile or landline, and play their call audio directly from the speaker itself. While this is surely a nice feature, the truly impressive part connects directly to the powerful artificial intelligence of Google Assistant.

Since Google Home enabled the ability to recognize multiple user voices, using the new hands-free calling system, the smart speaker will identify which person is requesting the phone call and connect to the relevant contact list. For example, if I ask Google Home to call “Mom,” it will know it’s me asking and call my mom, rather than the mom of someone else in the home.

Music lovers rejoice as Google Home will soon connect to services such as Spotify and Soundcloud to play music from those platforms directly through the speaker. Bluetooth support is also on the way to allow you to play the music on your Android or iOS phone through the Google Home speaker.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, Google Home will also soon support the ability to create new calendar events or reminders without interacting with your smartphone at all. If you own a Chromecast device, questions you ask your Google Home will be able to show up visually right on your connected TV in a similar way you see Google Assistant answers on your smartphone.

These features will be available later this year and we will surely keep an eye our for any additional updates.


Google I/O 2017 coverage presented by BESTEK


About the Author: Kevin Arnold

Kevin has been obsessed with technology ever since the days of playing with commands in MS-DOS. As a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied a combination of New Media Programming and Photography, Kevin lives in New York City where he works as a photo retoucher. His first "smartphone" was the good old LG Voyager with its slide-out physical keyboard. The first Android device Kevin owned was the now-infamous HTC Thunderbolt, which he still has in a drawer somewhere. Currently rocking both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, Kevin has a (un)healthy obsession with phones and has owned more than he can remember. When he's not shopping for a new phone, Kevin enjoys lots of food and wine, video games, astronomy, and the Big Apple.