Google Pixel 3’s call screening, duplex, lockscreen assistant feature explained

Here’s what these features do, what phones will get them, and by when should you expect the rollout.

Now that the dust from the Google Pixel event on 9 October has settled, in a new blog post, the company has detailed all the new features coming to the Assistant on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL phones.

Google Assistant on the Pixel 3 XL. Image: tech2

Google Assistant on the Pixel 3 XL. Image: tech2

Call screening

So the Pixel phones come with a feature that lets you screen calls and block spam. When you get a call from an unknown caller, you will have an option “Screen call”. When you do that, the Google Assistant steps in and shows you a transcript of the caller's responses in real-time. Mind-blowing right?

via GIPHY

As Google announced at the event earlier this week and it reiterates in the blog, this feature is coming to Pixel 3 this month, and to Pixel 1 and 2 in November.

Duplex at play

Remember the (in)famous Duplex restaurant reservation call demonstration Google did at the I/O 2018? That’s coming to life with the new Pixel phones, at least for some users. Google says that later this year, Pixel users in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to experiment with a new Google Assistant feature, powered by Duplex technology, which will handle booking a restaurant reservation over the phone on your behalf.

A visual snapshot of your day

Google has demoed this earlier too. All Pixel phones will soon let you see event recommendations, recent notes and lists and get important reminders in the form of a visual overview. To make that happen, you just have to tap on the icon in the top right corner of the screen after you’ve activated your Google Assistant.

Assistant in the lockscreen

And the final feature that Google details is the Assistant on your lockscreen. In order to use the feature, you will first have to opt-in through your Assistant settings of course. Once, it is set, you can use the Assistant without unlocking your phone each time. This feature will come only to the Google Pixel 3XL.

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