Google Home devices have long let users place phone calls with just their voice. An upcoming Assistant change will restrict that calling capability to numbers saved in your Google Contacts. 

Over the past day, the feed tab of the Google Home app has started displaying an “Important change to calling” card that links to a support article. This is referring to the capability that allows you to ask Assistant on your Nest Hub to place a call in a hands-free manner or through an on-screen speed dial.

Starting in December of 2021, this feature requires you to:

  1. Set up Voice Match and turn on personal results for the Google Assistant-enabled devices you want to make calls from.
  2. Have or add the number you want to call to Google Contacts.

That second requirement does not apply if you set up Google Fi or Voice: Assistant settings > Communication > Call Providers. For everyone else, their Home device will ask them to save a new number in Google Contacts before Assistant can dial. 

Google Assistant calling Contacts

If you add the number, Google Assistant will make the call. If you don’t add it, Google Assistant will cancel the call.

This change could be Google’s way of preventing misdials, or making sure the numbers you dial feature a name. That said, the additional step prevents a quick calling experience and can lead to cluttered contact lists. It ignores the fact that people often make one-time calls that don’t need to be saved. Overall, it makes Assistant devices a less useful landline alternative, though Google recently added an “Only ring when home” option.

More on Google Assistant:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: