Google announce new advanced calling features for Pixel phones

by Surur
October 19, 2021

Google has announced new advanced calling features for Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices in the U.S designed to deal better with spam callers and calling businesses.

A better way to call businesses

Starting today on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices in the U.S. the Phone app now features Wait Times and Direct My Call, making calling businesses easier. Before you even place your call to a toll-free business number, you’ll see the current and projected Wait Times for the rest of the week. That can help you decide whether you have time to call now, or plan when to call later to avoid long waits. Wait Times are inferred from call length data that is not linked to user identifiers.

When calling a business, see menu options on the screen for you to tap.

Once you ring the business, Direct My Call helps you get to the right place with less hassle. Google Assistant transcribes the automated message and menu options for you in real time and displays them on your screen for you to see and tap, so you don’t need to remember all the options. Direct My Call is powered by Google’s Duplex technology, which uses advanced speech recognition and language understanding models to determine when the business wants you to do something ??– like select a number (“Press 1 for hours and locations”), say a word (“Say ‘representative’ to speak with one of our agents”) or input your account number.

When calling a business, see menu options on the screen for you to tap.

Direct My Call builds on previous features Google released that make calling businesses easier called Hold For Me that help reduce the number of minutes you spend on hold. It already saves Pixel users in the United States over 1.5 million minutes each month, and it’s expanding to Pixel users in Australia, Canada and Japan in the coming months. Assistant is able to recognize when hold music is being played and understands the difference between a recorded message (like “Hello, thank you for waiting”) and a representative on the line thanks to Duplex technology, so that you can go back to your day and get notified when someone is ready to talk.

Press “Hold for me” and let Google Assistant wait on hold, then notify you when someone is ready to talk.

Know who’s calling you

Receiving calls from unknown numbers is a drag, and a majority of Americans choose not to answer them. They also report missing important calls they assume are spam. That’s why starting today, Google improving their extensive caller ID coverage of businesses. You can now share information about unknown businesses that you call or answer (such as the type of business) and over time that information will be displayed on incoming calls to help others know more about who’s calling them. This information is not joined with any user identifiers. We expect this to double the number of businesses that have caller ID information – so you can answer more calls with confidence.

Caller ID identifies a type of business, in addition to the phone number.

If you do get a call from an unknown number, Call Screen helps you find out who they are and why they’re calling before you pick up. Call Screen helps users in the U.S., Canada and Japan screen 37 million calls each month, and today Google is expanding manual Call Screen to Pixel users in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Their latest on-device speech models make the transcriptions more accurate than ever on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro thanks to Pixel’s new Google Tensor.

Google Assistant answers calls and transcribes the conversation.

Keeping your data safe

All audio transcriptions are processed on the device, which makes the experiences fast and also protects your privacy. No audio from the call will be shared with Google unless you explicitly decide to share it to help improve features. After the experience is over, like when you return to a call after Google Assistant was on hold for you or after Google Assistant screened a call, audio stops being processed altogether.

Google Pixel 6 will cost $599 while the Pixel 6 Pro will cost $899. Both the devices are now available for pre-order.

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