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Make Free Calls with Assistant on Google Home Across U.S. & Canada, Voice Input for Global Users

Google Assistant, already let you ask on a phone to make a call, and soon the feature will be available on Google Home, in the U.S. and Canada, enabling you to make free calls to anyone at landline, or on their mobile phones. ???

To get started, just say “Hey Google, call…” and calls will be made over the Wi-Fi connection. The recipient will see “Unknown” or “No Caller ID” for now, but by the end of the year, Google says, it’ll begin to display your own mobile number.

However, Google Voice or Project Fi users, can today go to Assistant settings in the Google Home app, to show the person on the other end their phone number.

The Hands-Free Calling on Google Home, rolls out today to users in the U.S. and Canada.

Google Home by default, can already call businesses and Google Contacts, and to call other contacts stored on yout phone, check out this Help Center. Furthermore, Google notes, that calls to international and premium rate numbers aren’t supported, unless Project Fi or Google Voice account is linked. Also, calls to 911 are not supported at this time.

Google is also working on to make you type less, talk more, as it introduces “voice typing” to 30 new languages and locales around the world.

With this update, Google’s speech recognition supports 119 language varieties, in Gboard on Android, Voice Search, covering over a billion people. Additionally, these new languages are also available in Cloud Speech API, with soon coming across other Google apps and products, including Translate app.

The speech recognition will also now support ancient languages such as 1–th century Georgian, Swahili and Amharic, as well as many Indian languages.

In addition to drawing or searching for favorite emoji, now in U.S. english, you can now say something like “winky face emoji” to express yourself ??.

“This process involved native speakers who read common phrases to train machine learning models to understand the sounds and words of these new languages and to improve their accuracy when exposed to more examples over time,” writes Google.

To enable To enable Voice Typing,

  • install the latest Gboard from the Play Store,
  • then, pick your language by pressing the G in the suggestion strip and select the Settings wheel.
  • then tap the microphone to start speaking.

To enable Voice Search, open the Google app and pick a language in the Voice settings menu. Just tap the top-left menu and go to Settings, then pick Voice and select language.

Voice typing and Search on Gboard
Voice typing

Soon, users will be able to ask and get answers about places, and even will be answer other people’s questions on Google Maps for Android and mobile Search.

To ask or answer or read a question about a place—

  • Search for the location on Google Maps or search, and open local business listing.
  • Then scroll down to “Question & answers” section to add or answer questions,
  • You can also upvote informative ones by tapping thumbs up icon—the upvoted one will then appear toward the top of the section.
  • In addition, when a question about a place is asked, the business owner and other in-the-know users are notified for knowledgeable answers.
  • Additionally, users are also notfied when a question is answered.

To make “Questions & answers” feature most useful and accurate, Google advises local businesses to add frequently asked questions and answers as well.

This feature rolls out to Google Maps and mobile Search users worldwide.

Questions & Answers section on Google Maps and Search
Questions & Answers section

Google is also providing a heads up on seasonal allergies symptoms across the U.S. via mobile search, providing a useful “at-a-glance” local pollen levels for pollen or allergy related searches on mobile. To see more detailed pollen and allergy details, tap the link “More about seasonal allergies” within the pollen experience.

In addition, you can also request to receive pollent count alerts, when it’s particularly high in your area. To opt into these notifications, just search for pollen levels, pollen forecast or a similar query on Google app, then tap “turn on” when prompted.

Google says, it worked with The Weather Channel to integrate their pollen index and forecast data information directly into Google.

Pollen and allergy forcasting in Google app
Pollen & Allergy alerts

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