In case you missed it, Google began rolling out voice calling for its Google Home users in the United States. And speaking of missing it, I have been checking once a week for this prophesied feature, and to no fruition. The “Sorry, I don’t know how to help with that” or “I cannot make phone calls just yet” responses were redundant. Until today.
(Home voice-over-IP calling isn’t my only late delivery from Google. I’m still waiting for the Allo reactions update.)
This morning, I received an email from Google announcing the new feature was available, so I immediately instructed my assistant to call my wife. It worked! She didn’t answer, however, because, at the moment, Google Home calls only appear as a “No Caller ID,” “Unknown Caller,” “Anonymous,” or “Private Number.”
And this means that… well, nobody will answer these new internet voice calls. This isn’t the day and age where a phone call was a welcome break from the norm. Phone calls are typically annoying. Often, people don’t even answer calls from people they do know, much less from people they know not.
I called my wife, my brother, my mother, a couple of good friends, my brother-in-law, my landlady, and not a single person answered. I called one friend four times in quick succession to demonstrate urgency. Nothing.
This reveals an unfortunate, but altogether obvious truth: Everyone fears the dreaded telemarketer; and instead of being a helpful means of calling your contacts, an anonymous phone call will be merely ignored.
On the bright side, Google lets you use your Google Voice number and they plan to let you use your own personal number as a caller ID soon. While we wait for many dreams to come true, we can only wait. In the meantime, I suppose you can prank call your girlfriend or mother or boss without consequence. Spam away.