What Is Google's Call Screen Feature and How Does It Work?

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Google call screening lets you see who is calling and why. Call screening allows Google Assistant to answer your phone calls and provides a transcript of the request in real-time.

You can choose to tell the caller you aren't available, ask for more information, or pick up the call once you know it's a legitimate caller with whom you want to speak.

At this time, call screening is only available for the Google Pixel and select Android phones.

The option to screen a call is displayed on a Pixel 2.

What Is Google Assistant Call Screening?

To use Google call screening, make sure you have the latest version of the Phone app installed.

The call screening feature is something rolled out with the Pixel 3, and Pixel 3XL in October of 2018. It's an automatic feature that gives you the option to have Google Assistant screen calls from numbers you don't know.

When a phone call comes in, you'll see an option to screen calls. If you tap this, it launches Google Assistant to answer the phone for you. A screen appears showing what Assistant is saying to the caller, as well as the caller's responses.

Once the person calling you has answered Google Assistant, you'll see prompts at the bottom of your screen. These include things like "Is it urgent?" or "I can't understand you" to prompt the caller for more information. You can also choose "I'll call you back" or "Report as spam" to end the call without speaking directly to the person calling.

This feature appeared after robocalls, and spam calls began to become more persistent. It's an easy way to answer a call from numbers you don't recognize without having to interact if the caller is spam or a scam call.

Screening calls from numbers you don't recognize is a great way to make sure something is vital before paying much attention to it. You can pick up the call at any time, so it's an easy way to ensure you aren't spending time on the phone when you don't need to.

Google Screen Call Transcripts

Google also saves the transcripts from screened calls, which can be handy if you want to review information from a call. You can find this transcript inside the call details of a screened call. If you'd prefer not to have a record, you can also delete the transcript by removing the call log entry for that phone number.

Things to Remember

Google's Call screening feature makes it easy to see who is calling and why, without having to answer an unfamiliar phone number physically. Google Assistant speaks to the caller while giving you a transcript of everything said, and options to end the call or get more information. While you never have to use this feature, it can make it easier to avoid calls that are a waste of your time and ensure you're only picking up the phone when you need to.