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You can now screen your calls on your Pixel 2 and 2 XL with Google Assistant

Spam calls are the worst.

pixel 2 pixel 2 xl call screening google assistant
Image: Pocket-lint

When the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL launched, one of the killer apps was a call screening feature.

This used Google Assistant to answer suspected spam calls and transcribes the conversation in real time. Then you can read the transcript and decide if you want to answer the call or not.

Hot on the heels of the Night Sight update, the call screening feature is also coming to Pixel 2 and 2 XL handsets as part of this week’s update to Google Phone.

Spam calls are everywhere

With an estimated 50% of all the USA’s total call volume becoming spam by the end of next year, you can see why this type of new feature is so welcome. With phone call scams costing the country to nearly $350 million last year, any respite from the robocalls is amazing.

Some carriers, including T-Mobile, have even been taking matters into their own hands to prevent potential spam calls reaching their customers.

How screening calls works through Google Assistant

This “screen call” feature pops up when you have an incoming call, alongside the usual “accept” and “reject” buttons. If you decide to screen, Google Assistant will inform the caller that you’re using a screening service and that you’ll receive a copy of the information. From there you can choose to hang up, pick up or even block the calling number.

The update will go live without you having to do anything to enable it. I was pleasantly surprised this morning when a number I didn’t recognize came in and my Pixel 2 asked if I wanted to screen it. I hate picking up the phone to unknown callers, so this is a feature that I’ve been waiting years for.

The feature is rolling out right now and should be available for the original Pixel devices soon, as well. Google hasn’t made an official announcement as to when that is just yet, we’ll bring you any updates as we hear of them.

What do you think of the feature? Have you had the chance to try it out? Let us know in the comments below.

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