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Home / Tips and Tricks / Let Google Call Screen talk to annoying lawyers and unknown callers on your Pixel phone

Let Google Call Screen talk to annoying lawyers and unknown callers on your Pixel phone



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Google Call Screen is easy to use.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Robocalls is an inconvenience . They make you guess every call from a number that is not in your contacts, and you know that answering a call from a scammer will only lead to more calls. Deciding whether to answer an incoming call should not be so stressful. Enter this Android feature: Google Call Screen . Instead of answering the call yourself, you can have Google Assistant answer it and give you a real-time transcript. You can then decide if you want to talk to the person or end the call.

Google has not yet expanded the call screen beyond its Pixel phone line but hopefully we will see more Android phones in the future.

You must have a Pixel 2 or newer in order for Google Assistant to answer your calls; if you have a Pixel 4 you can set it to automatically screen your calls without having to do anything. It is a pretty cool feature and should be available on all phones. Yes, through the iPhone .

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Screen incoming calls with one tap.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Screen an incoming call with just one touch

Each time your Pixel phone rings you will see the usual interface for incoming calls, but with a new Screen call button. You do not need to activate the function, it is on by default. Click the button to immediately answer the call and let Google Assistant start talking to the caller. The first script for the call is always the same.

The Google Assistant tells the caller that you are using a screening service, one that gives you a transcript of the call and asks the person to indicate the reason for the call.

When the caller starts talking, a transcript of the answer will be displayed on the phone's screen in real time. The transcript is presented as a text message call, complete with pre-filled options at the bottom of the screen. If you want to ask the caller for more information or say you can't answer the phone right now, just tap one of the options and Google Assistant will continue to speak on your behalf.





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In addition to reading the answers, you can choose to listen to the caller by holding the phone in your ear or by pressing the volume button on the side of your Pixel to activate the speakerphone.

If the call is a robot or spam, you can report it as such and Google Assistant ends the call. If there is someone you want to talk to, press the green answer button and start talking.

The whole experience is amazingly well done, impressive and uncomplicated.

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Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL can automatically screen calls for you.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

You do not need to do anything about suspicious spam calls

Later, Google announced that Call Screen was given the ability to automatically screen or block spam from ever reaching your phone.

Right now, the more capable version of Call Screen is only available on a Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL. You must enable automatic display of calls in Settings in the app. Open the Phone app, tap the three-point icon in the upper-right corner and go to Settings > Spam and call screen > Call Screen .

Review each option in the section Unknown call settings and tell the phone which types of callers to release and which ones should have Google Assistant automatically.

Did you know that you can change the voice of Google Assistant answering your calls?


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Another Pixel 4 single feature is the option to save the audio recording to a displayed call. If you enable the feature, the phone will keep the sound of the caller only, not from Google Assistant or your side of the phone call if you decide to answer.

If you do not have these options, make sure your Pixel has no pending software updates and that the Phone app is updated in the Play Store. Automatic call screening was part of Pixel's first "feature release", one of the promised routine updates to add features to the Pixel lineup .

Fine-tuning your settings

If you do not have a Pixel 4, you can still adjust how the call screen works on your Pixel phone. To view the call screen settings, open the phone app and tap the three-point icon in the upper-right corner followed by Settings > Call Screen .

You can change the voice of Google Assistant who answers your calls, as well as see a demonstration of how the feature works.

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The transcript view is one of my favorite features in the Google Call Screen.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Privacy first and foremost

The call screen uses Google Assistant to monitor the call. Just as the assistant transcribes your requests, it also transcribes incoming calls. No information during the call sends any information to Google's servers – everything is handled on your phone.

Each time you ask Google Assistant to do something like send a message or play music, Google stores a recording of the sound in your Google Account.

At launch, there was no way to see previous transcripts, but towards the end of 2018, Google adds the ability to see transcripts from Call Screen. You can read more about where to find your call screen prints here.

If you are new to Android, you must change these five Android phone settings . Recently upgraded to Android 10? Get used to the new Android 10 gesture navigation and then check out these Android 10 privacy settings that you need to know about
.

Originally published the year before. Updated with new information.


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