While most people are likely to answer calls on their mobile devices, those with smart speakers and displays also have the option of taking calls from those devices. Last year, we got “presence detection” for routines at home and away, but now we have another option that allows your devices to receive calls only when you are at home. The latest Google Home update brings a “only rings when you’re home” feature so whoever is trying to call you won’t be routed to your home devices.
9 to 5 Google shares that version 2.36 of Google Home has begun to be distributed among users. The only notable new feature in this update is that it brought the “Only ring when at home” option. Basically what it does is it won’t send your calls to your speakers or smart displays when it determines that you and your phone are not at home. The application will determine if you are at home or away and, if you are the first, you will be able to receive calls on your home devices. But if it is the latter, you will only receive the call on your smartphone.
Once the update has rolled out to your Google Home app, it’s pretty easy to set it up. All you have to do is tap on the settings icon in the top row of shortcuts. When you go to the “voice and video calls” section, you will see a new “call and device settings” menu where the only item is the “only ring when you are at home” option. When you turn it on, the Assistant-enabled speakers and displays that you have connected to your smartphone and configured with Duo and other calling apps will not sound when someone is calling you.
Obviously, when you are not at home, nobody answers. But the feature would work fine if there are other people in the house other than you who may accidentally answer any call. So even if the system detects that there are other people in the house, since this feature is activated, it will not send calls to your speakers and smart displays.
The update appears to have started rolling out for Google Home users. You can either check for the update or just wait for it to roll out, as most of us probably don’t have places to go “far” right now.