With the Call Screening feature, you can set up a call filter on your Google Pixel that blocks spam calls and informs you of who is calling before you pick up the phone. We explain how to activate the function.
Do you often get annoyed by unwanted calls? You are not alone in this, because spam calls and so-called robocalls are a growing phenomenon. Various smartphone manufacturers have declared war on the problem. The most consistent way of doing this is that Google uses the Google Assistant in its Pixel smartphones to check the identity and the concerns of the callers. The corresponding feature is called call screening or call filter and is available on all current Pixel devices.
What does call screening do?
With the Call Screening function, the Google Assistant checks all incoming calls on the phone from numbers that are not on your contact list and takes appropriate measures before the caller is let through to you. The wizard does this as follows.
- Google Assistant matches caller numbers with a database of known spam callers. If a call is recognized as spam, Assistant will automatically block it without you noticing.
- For callers who are not recognized as spam, you will see a small button called "Check call". As soon as you tap this, the caller will be asked by the Google Assistant to state the reason for their call. You will get the answer on the screen while your phone is still ringing and you can then decide whether you want to accept or decline the call.
This is what the call screen looks like if you have call screening activated. Image: © Google / Screenshot: 2021
Since the caller's answers are recorded and transcribed, you can listen to them again after the call. As soon as you answer the call, however, the recording and transcription stop immediately. The call itself is therefore not recorded.
This is how you can activate call screening
In Germany and some other countries, Google has only been offering the call screening function since October 2021. If the feature is not yet available on your Pixel smartphone, then check whether a software update is available for your phone or for the phone app.
- Open the phone app on your Pixel smartphone.
- At the top right of the search bar, tap the three-dot menu.
- Select the menu item "Settings".
- In the settings, tap on the sub-item "Caller ID and Spam".
- Activate the two sliders behind "Show caller and spam ID" and behind "Filter out spam calls".
In addition, there is a second option in the settings of the Google phone app that you have to activate.
- Repeat points 1 – 3 as described above.
- Select the sub-item "Call filter" in the settings.
- Activate this and set whether the Google Assistant should speak with a male or female voice for callers.
In order to use call screening, you have to make some settings in the phone app. Image: © Google / Screenshot: 2021
- The Call Screening function is available on Google Pixel smartphones.
- The function automatically filters spam calls and can also help you to prevent unpleasant phone calls.
- You can activate the call filter in the settings of the Google phone app.