Since the coronavirus era began, Google has been doubling down on making Google Meet and Duo a thing (and to steal some market share from Zoom). After increasing the number of users who can join a call on both services, making Google Meet free, and then integrating that service right into Gmail, the company has now seen fit to make group calls available on Google-powered smart displays.
You can now start such a party on Duo by simply saying ‘Hey Google, make a group call.’ You’ll have to set up groups first in your phone’s Duo app, but after that you can simply select which group you want from your smart display. The feature is currently available on the Nest Hub Max, the LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart Display, JBL Link View, and Lenovo’s 8-inch and 10-inch Smart Displays. It does not work on the smaller Nest Hub because, well, it doesn’t have a camera.
Similarly, you can now start Google Meet video calls via the Nest Hub Max.. You can connect with up to 100 people on Google‘s service by saying “Hey Google start/join a meeting.” You can also automatically enter the next call on your calendar by saying ‘join my next meeting.’ Unfortunately, the feature is exclusive to the Nest Hub Max for now.
Lastly, Google is adding the ability to call ‘household contacts’ on Assistant-enabled displays. It’s essentially a speed dial for the displays, letting you simply call the person via their name and making them quickly accessible via the household contacts list.
The new features are rolling out today.
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