Feature parity is a huge point of contention in Android, and now in Google Assistant speakers too. Whenever Google announces a new ability for its Home line-up, you can toss a coin and it’s pretty much 50-50 whether this will work on Assistant speakers from other brands. For phone calls, the situation has been more dire. Even though Google Home users could make a voice call starting August 2017 (in the US first), those with third-party speakers didn’t have that option. But things are getting better.
Best Buy’s often-discounted Insignia got the feature last October, and now Google has updated its support pages to (slightly) clarify which Assistant speakers can make phone calls. It seems that some Harman speakers got the option now too — read: most likely JBL. It’s also clearly spelled out that all Smart Displays can place calls too.
- All Google Home speakers
- Some Insignia speakers with Google Assistant built-in
- Some Harman speakers with Google Assistant built-in
- All Smart Displays with Google Assistant built-in
Since we don’t have Harman/JBL speakers to test this out, we’ll leave it up to you to check whether this is working and on which models. Sadly, other Assistant speaker makers don’t seem to be involved in the fun, so if you have a unit from Sony, LG, iHome, or about a dozen or more brands, you’re out of luck. Oh and keep in mind that we’re talking about phone calls (and not the new Duo audio calls), so you have to be located in the US, UK, or Canada, and have your Assistant set to English (US, UK, Canada) or French (Canada).
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