(Pocket-lint) - Google's Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays offer a number of great features. They are excellent smart home hubs, very useful for following recipes in the kitchen handsfree and brilliant digital photo frames. 

It's one of their simplest features that is one of their best though - video and voice calls. Here's how to setup and use the Google Nest Hub and Google Nest Hub Max to make and receive video and voice calls.

How to setup the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max for video calls

Google's Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max can be used for voice calls and video calls, but for video calls, you'll need to set up Google Duo and you will only be able to video call other Google Duo users.

Note: When using the Nest Hub for video calling, you'll be able to see the video of the person you're calling but they won't be able to see you as there is no camera on the Nest Hub.

To set up your Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max for video calls, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap on the Settings icon
  3. Scroll down to 'Voice and video calls' under Google Assistant services
  4. Tap on 'Video & Voice Apps'
  5. Tap on Google Duo and follow the setup steps
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How to make a video call using the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max

As mentioned above, to make a video call using the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, you'll need to have set up Google Duo and the person you want to video call needs to be a Google Duo user.

If you aren't sure if the person you want to call has Google Duo, you can open the Google Duo app directly on your smartphone and search the list of contacts at the top. Below the contacts with Duo that show under the 'Connect with Duo' section, you'll see a list of the rest of your contacts without Duo under the 'Invite to Duo' section.

It's also possible to access this list from the Google Home app. Open the Google Home app > Tap on the Settings icon > Scroll down to 'Voice and video calls' > Tap on Video & Voice Apps > Tap on phone number at the top.

Once you're all setup with Google Duo, making a video call using the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max is very simple.

  1. Say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google"
  2. Followed by "Video call [Name of contact]"

Ending the video call is easy too. Tap on "End Call" on the screen, or say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google", followed by "End Call", "Hang Up", "Disconnect" or "Stop".

How to setup Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max for voice calls

All Google Home speakers and displays can be used for voice calling. There are three different ways your Google speakers and displays make voice calls, but it varies by country as to what is available and features differ too.

Duo calling allows speakers and displays to make and receive video and voice calls to anyone with a Google Duo account. This works worldwide, allows for calls between speakers/displays and mobile devices and calls are free.

Google supported calling allows for free audio calls to mobile, landline and business phone numbers but you can't receive calls and the service only works in the US, UK and Canada.

The third option is mobile calling, which allows you to link your speaker with your mobile carrier plan. Again, calls cannot be received and this option is only available with selected carriers in the US (Google Fi and Google Voice) and Australia (Telstra).

To setup your Google Home speakers and displays for Duo calling, follow the same instructions as video calling: 

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap on the Settings icon
  3. Scroll down to 'Voice and video calls' under Google Assistant services
  4. Tap on Video & Voice Apps
  5. Tap on Google Duo and follow the setup steps

To setup your Google Home speakers and displays for Google Supported calling, follow these instructions: 

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap on the Home icon
  3. Tap on the speaker or display you wish to set up for Google Supported calling
  4. Tap on the Settings cog in the top right corner
  5. Scroll down to 'Recognition & Personlisation'
  6. Toggle on 'Allow Personal results'

You'll also need to turn 'Web & App Activity' on in your Google Account to make calls to your contacts. To do this:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap on your account in the top right corner
  3. Make sure the Google Account listed is the same as the one linked to Google Home
  4. Tap 'Manage your Google Account'
  5. Tap on 'Personal info & privacy'
  6. Tap on 'Activity controls'
  7. Toggle on

With Voice Match enabled, additional members of your home can use their own contacts to make calls on your Google Home speaker or display. To allow multiple people use their contacts from the same device, each person needs to set up Voice Match. To set up Voice Match: 

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap on Settings
  3. Scroll down to 'Voice Match' under Google Assistant services 
  4. Follow the step by step instructions 
  5. From here, you can also see a list of the shared devices with Voice Match 

How to make voice calls on Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max

Just like making a video call on the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, making a voice call from a Google Nest Home speaker or display is very easy. Just say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google", followed by:

  • "Call [contact name]"
  • "Call [business name]."
  • "What is the nearest [business]?" then "OK Google," "Call them."
  • "Call [phone number]."
  • "Redial."

Ending the call is easy too. Just say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" then, "End the call", "Hang up", "Stop", "Disconnect".

You can also tap "End Call" on the display of the Nest Hub Max and Nest Hub, tap the top of the Google Home or Google Home Max, tap the centre of the Google Nest Mini, or tap the side of the Home Mini to hang up a call.

How to hide your phone number when calling from a Google Home speaker or display

If you'd rather people didn't see your phone number when making a voice call or video call from your Google Home speaker or display, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap on the account icon in the top right
  3. Check the Google Account shown is the one linked to your Google Home or Google Nest device
  4. Go back to the home screen then tap Settings
  5. Scroll to 'Voice and Video calls' under the Google Assistant services section 
  6. Tap 'Mobile calling'
  7. Tap on 'Your own number'
  8. Tap 'Use unlisted number'

Happy calling! For other Google Home and Nest Hub tips and tricks, read our separate feature.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.