If you're one of the lucky Android users who purchased a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL phone, you probably noticed a new call feature. This new feature, Call Screening, allows you to screen your calls in such a way that whoever is calling you will be sent a message stating that you are using a Google Call Screening service and that they must state the purpose of their call and that the call will be logged.
The new feature works like a charm for a couple of reasons:
- To prevent spam callers from repeatedly calling.
- To get a transcript of a call.
If you need to silence spam callers, want to make sure callers know you're serious about accepting calls, or if you'd like to have a voice-to-text transcript of your call, Call Screening is a feature you'll want to use.
Call Screening is free and can only be found (at the moment) on the Pixel 3 phones. The feature is very intuitive, but I want to walk you through the process of making it work.
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What you Need
The Call Screening feature is currently only available on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL devices. That is all you need to make it work. There is nothing to install and nothing to configure on your device, as it works out of the box.
When an incoming call arrives, you will be greeted with an alert from the notification shade (Figure A).
To screen the call, tap the Screen call button. This will then open the phone app, where you'll see the text that is sent to the caller (Figure B).
The caller will then speak their name, which will appear in the call transcript on your Pixel device. You can then decide whether to accept the call or not, based on that information. Or, if the call is of the spammier nature, the caller will most likely hang up.
Viewing the transcript
Once the call is finished, you can view the transcript, by doing the following:
- Open the phone app
- Locate and tap the call in question
- Tap Call details
- Tap See transcript (Figure C)
The transcript will appear in a similar fashion as a text chat. For the most part, the Google service is very good at transcribing the call into text.
For those who are concerned that Google is recording transcripts of calls, that is not the case. The only calls that are transcribed are those that are screened, so use the feature with that understanding, and you shouldn't have to worry about security.
A solid feature
I've used Call Screening ever since I purchased the Pixel 3, and it has served me well. I believe this is a feature most professionals will be glad is on their device, whether it's being used as a voice-to-text transcription of important calls, or to prevent scammers from continuing to call.
- Google Pixel 3: The review for professionals (TechRepublic)
- Google Pixel 3: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Google Pixel 3 review: Excellent camera, pocketable form factor, and Google software are compelling (ZDNet)
- The 10 best smartphones of 2018 (ZDNet)
- The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time (Download.com)
- Smartphones and mobile tech: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.