Google has announced that it is expanding its Automatic Call Screening technology to all Pixel phone users, including those that are using older models.
Previously, Google had made the technology available just to users of its Pixel 4 devices.
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.
Google has not yet updated its support pages to include mention of the product’s availability on older devices, but users of Reddit have started commenting on the feature now being available on their devices.
Automatically screening calls is a potential roadblock for collection agencies trying to get in touch with individuals. Without their knowledge or consent, the technology may automatically route calls to voicemail without ever giving the individual the chance to decide if he or she wants to answer the call.