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What is Hold For Me? Pixel 5’s most useful feature explained

The Google Pixel 5 is finally here and packs the usual array of quirks that set the range aside from the Android-based pack. One of the most exciting new features is Hold For Me, but what exactly is it?

The Google Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G range includes a new Google Assistant feature called “Hold For Me.” It removes the most annoying part of the calling experience since the invention of the telephone – waiting on hold for your call to be answered.

With Hold For Me, Pixel 5 owners will be able to use the Assistant as a surrogate who’ll take on the burden of listening to the 18th play-through of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, so you don’t have to.

When calling a toll-free (freephone) number common for customer service and call centre queries, the Assistant will offer the on-screen option to Hold For Me. When a representative finally comes online, the Assistant will notify you and you can return to the call.

Related: Google Pixel 4a 5G

In a blog post, Google explains: “With a preview of Hold for Me on Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 in the U.S., Google Assistant can wait on the line for you whenever you call a toll-free number and a business puts you on hold. Built on the smarts of Duplex and Call Screen, this new feature lets you go back to enjoying the things that matter to you, and Google Assistant will notify you once someone is on the line and ready to talk. And Hold for Me works on your device, so the entire call is private to you. Goodbye endless hold music, hello more free time.”

You can see the feature in action in the animation below.

Unfortunately, as Google mentions above, the feature is only available in the United States right now, with no news on whether a global rollout will be forthcoming at this point.

Google says this builds on the company’s existing Call Screen tech, which helps users avoid 25 million spam calls and saves them 2 million minutes every month. We’d imagine this feature will save them many more. Hopefully, it’ll trickle down to all Android 11 devices soon enough.

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