- Google is trying to end telemarketer calls on smartphones through a new Android feature named “Call Screen.”
- The feature lets you use Google Assistant to answer phone calls; it instantly transcribes the phone call and lets you choose if you want to pick up.
- If it’s a telemarketer, the call can be instantly marked as spam.
- The feature is rolling out to Pixel 3 smartphones first, but “comes to the entire Pixel family next month.”
“You’ll never have to talk to another telemarketer,” Google product manager Liza Ma said Tuesday morning to raucous applause.
Ma had just introduced Call Screen, a new feature built into Android on Google’s Pixel line of smartphones. The service is Google’s latest attempt to curb telemarketing calls on smartphones.
The service enables Pixel phone users to screen phone calls in a more active way than simply looking at the number and ignoring it or declining.
By using Call Screen, Google’s software answers the phone call for you and transcribes the caller’s response in real time. Like this:
In this way, Call Screen is an extension of how Google’s Pixel phones already operate.
As it is, Google’s Pixel phones warn users about suspected spam numbers – telemarketers – and allow for outright filtration of all such calls. With Call Screen, that function is taken one step further.
Whether it will work is another question. That’s due to the way that telemarketing services catalog their phone number databases. These services track whether numbers they call answer attempted outreach. Numbers that receive a pick-up are subsequently marked as answered phone numbers, and those numbers are targeted.
Given that telemarketing services often use number-spoofing services, which enable them to hide their identity as another phone number, it can be hard to mark numbers as spam.
Worse, if Call Screen is flagged as a “pickup” by telemarketers, it could result in more calls. We’ll have to wait and see how it works in real life to know for sure.
In the meantime, check out a video of the new Call Screen feature in action right here:
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