Google Adds Automatic Call Screening to Pixel Phones

Google has announced a number of new features for its Pixel line of phones, and individuals who own Pixel 4 devices will see a new automatic call screening feature that has been added.

News of the update was first mentioned a couple weeks ago when it was uncovered in beta versions of the release, but now it is being rolled out to all users of Google smartphones.

The feature has been added to Google’s “Call Screen” product, and will now filter out unwanted calls without the users’ phones ever ringing. Google had been allowing users to manually screen calls before deciding to accept them, but is now going to do that automatically, without the user’s phone ever ringing.

Google Assistant will automatically answer the call and start transcribing what is being said on the other end of the phone. If the call is deemed not to be a robocall, the user’s phone will ring and will display the transcript of the initial portion of the call, giving the user context to determine whether to answer the call or not. Google also announced that the feature does not need Wi-Fi or cellular data to work — all of the functionality will be built right into the user’s phone.

The automatic screening will occur on any call Google deems to be originating from an unknown number.

The release was part of a “Pixel Feature Drop” which will be a regular series of updates to Google’s phones.

A growing number of carriers, phone manufacturers, and software developers are rolling out tools to try and keep robocalls from being connected. But the credit and collection industry has long expressed concerns that legitimate calls — like those from debt collectors — are being unfairly blocked as well. This report offers some direct proof of that dynamic.

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