Google Pixel Call Screen update gives you more power to ignore the bots

Google is improving one of the Pixel 3 phones’ most convenient features features by adding a transcription of calls screened by the Google Assistant.

The call screening feature, which entrusts the AI to pick-up suspected spam calls so you don’t have to, arrived with the Pixel 3 and is now rolling out to older Pixel and Pixel 2 phones in the US.

However, in its current form, Assistant can only provide the transcriptions in real time during the actual call. That effectively means the recipient still has to pay attention in order to discover the reason for the call.

However, Google has now confirmed (via 9to5Google) that a new Call Screen feature promising saved written transcriptions will be rolling out before the end of the year.

The news comes via a product manager posting on Google’s support forums. Last week Paul Dunlop wrote: “I’m happy to confirm that we will be launching support for saving the transcript later this year.

“The transcript for the screened portion of the call will be automatically saved in your Call Log once the call has ended. You will be able to access it via the Call Details section of an individual call log item. This will be available to our public beta testers first, and then all Pixel 3 users later in the year.”

As Dunlop says, Pixel 3 users will be getting first dibs on the feature, presumably with the update coming to older phones in early 2019. Google did not confirm that will be the case though. As for the launch of the existing Call Screen feature on Pixel 2 and Pixel 1 outside the United States, Dunlop says there’s “nothing to share right now.”

Even in its current form the feature is handy enough. It means you don’t have to actually engage with the robocall, and just let another robot handle it for you.

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