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Google's robot assistant can make phone calls for you now.
Image: Getty Images / ethan miller

Sometimes, making an important phone call to set up an appointment can be inconvenient or nerve-wracking. That, or you just don’t feel like doing it.

There’s potentially good news on that front. Google Duplex, a Google Assistant-powered phone call service, is finally coming to devices that the majority of people own. According to Google’s support site, Duplex has started rolling out to iOS and non-Pixel Android devices, as spotted by 9to5Google.

On iOS, Duplex will live within the Google Assistant app, but the rollout seems to be gradual. Mashable reached out to Google to ask how long it would take for Duplex to roll out to every Android and iOS device, but did not receive an immediate response.

Duplex debuted at Google’s I/O conference last year with a flashy stage demo. The idea is that users can tell Assistant something like “book a table for six at [restaurant name] on Friday night” and the AI-powered virtual assistant will make a phone call on their behalf. 

The voice sounds human enough to be a little bit creepy.

Until now, Duplex was only available on Google Pixel phones. As such, you’d be forgiven for not even knowing it existed, as the Pixel line has not been an especially hot seller. Significantly more people have iPhones and Android phones from companies like Samsung, so this rollout could be considered the legitimate launch of the Duplex service.

That said, there are a couple of factors that will limit the popularity of the Assistant feature. It’s not available outside the United States at all yet, for one. Even within the U.S., Duplex still doesn’t work in Texas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kentucky, Indiana, Montana and Louisiana due to “local laws,” according to Fortune.

As such, tens of millions of people in Google’s home country still can’t use Duplex. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/google-duplex-android-ios/

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