Google has quietly rolled out one of its most interesting Pixel phone features in a while — a Phone app update that automatically sends spam phone calls to voicemail.
This isn’t the first time the company has experimented with trying to make nuisance calls less annoying. Previously, calls to a Pixel phone would turn the screen bright red, indicating that the call’s origin is a ‘Suspected Spam Caller’.
However, the new feature (as first noticed by 9to5Google) means that you won’t even be aware that a call is coming through before it’s unceremoniously dumped into your answerphone. Once there you will not receive a missed call or answerphone notification, but the call can be found in your call log, and it’s there in your answerphone if you want to go looking for it.
In theory this could create a completely different problem and fill up your answerphone with hundreds of useless messages, but in our experience very few spam callers actually bother to leave a message. Either way, it’s better than having to talk to someone intent on wasting your time and/or money.
We’re curious to know what kind of hit rate Google is having with this new functionality. Its current focus on AI and machine learning would lead us to suspect that it’s been combing its worldwide calling data looking for suspicious phone numbers, but we don’t yet know the likelihood of real numbers being flagged as spam.
It would be very inconvenient to miss a legitimate call and not even receive a missed call notification because of a problem with Google’s algorithm.
Google has said that the feature is still under development, meaning it might not be perfect prior to its worldwide rollout in a couple of weeks, but the default dialar on Pixel, Nexus and Android One devices should see an upgrade soon.
How much of a problem do you experience with spam callers? Let us know @TrustedReviews