Taking calls from unknown numbers can be potentially risky. Aside from not wanting to talk to strangers, or cold callers, an unknown caller could be a criminal attempting to scam you. If you have an Android phone, specifically a Google Pixel, you can screen those calls, thus giving you more opportunity to preserve your privacy. Privacy is an important value for business. Many IT companies, such as TechQuarters – who provide IT support financial services companies have been using for years – offer specialized services to their customers around privacy. The Google Call Screen feature is a simply way for professionals to get better privacy and security with their mobile devices.
Google’s screen call is active, by default, on all Google Pixel models. But it is worth noting that automatic call screening is currently only available on the Pixel 6 or the Pixel 6 Plus, and select other phones that are running Android 12. The feature was initially introduced with the release Google Pixel 3A and Pixel 4. Later in the article, we will go through how to use Screen Call with the latest Google Pixel 6 and 6 Plus.
The way that Google’s Screen Call feature works is simple. If you think you are getting a spam call – or even if you’re simply getting a call, and you don’t know who is on the other end – you can press the ‘Screen Call’ button. When receiving calls on a supported Android device, you will have three buttons on the incoming call box: Answer, Decline, and Screen Call.
When you do this, the Google Assistant will answer the call on your behalf. The person on the other end of the call will be informed, by Google Assistant, that you are screening the call – there may not even be someone on the other end of the call. The Google Assistant will ask the caller to identify themselves and to describe the purpose of their call. While this is happening, you will be able to listen to their response, or read an automated transcript, and then answer the call if you want. There is also a ‘Report Spam’ button if you don’t want to be contacted by the caller again; and the Google Assistant will request the caller that your number be removed from their list
Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
To start with, you need to ensure that the feature is enabled on your phone. You can do this by going into the Phone app, and tapping the three dot in the upper right corner – this opens the call settings. In Settings, go to the Spam and Call Screen section. At first, you will see two controls; the “See caller and spam ID” control, which enables your phone to identify contacts, business numbers, and spam numbers; and then there is the “Verified Calls” control, which enables you to see the call ID for businesses who have been verified as legitimate. Ensure that the toggle on both of these controls have been switched to on.
Below these controls, you will see Call Screen. Tap this to open more controls. Here, you can decide what happens to calls that fall into one of a number of categories. There categories include:
- Possible faked numbers
- First-time callers
- Hidden numbers
With each category, you can pick between two choices. Either you can let the calls ring, and then you can manually choose whether to screen the call (via the ‘Call Screen’ button). Otherwise, you can choose to have Google Assistant automatically screen the calls – if it is a robocall, it will be auto-declined. For each category of call, you will need to choose either Call Screen is manual or automatic. Simply tap each category, and select how you want those types of calls to be handled. For the Spam call category, you have a third choice, which is to Silently decline the call – this means your phone won’t ring at all if it is a recognized spam caller.