Watching Google officially reveal the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, smartphones may have become minuscule handheld computers competent for doing everything from office work to filming movies.
Google prohibits forgetting about the phone portion of its smartphones.
There’s Clear Calling for improving the audio quality of voice calls and an upgraded Direct My Call to complete it faster and more comfortable to navigate call center phone trees. Other features yielded from earlier Pixel devices include Hold for Me and Call Screen.
The most fundamental feature to assist with phone calls is Clear Calling, traces located in Google’s beta software last month. It’s designed to utilize machine learning to cut down on background noise from individuals on the other end of a Pixel 7 phone call.
Consequently, it causes them to be more easily audible, “even if they’re on a breezy street or in a loud restaurant,” Google product supervisor Jonathan Eccles notes in a blog post.
Google is distant from the first company to implement noise suppression technology like this. The likes of Nvidia and AMD already deliver similar functionality on PCs for conference calls and streaming. But unlike Apple, which hasn’t completed a big deal out of its Voice Isolation feature and hides it in an obscure sub-menu, Google presented Clear Calling front and center as one of the Pixel 7’s flagship features.
Direct My Call, launched with the Pixel 6 last year, is also being upgraded. Direct My Call is devised to assist you in navigating the often complicated menus call centers to employ to triage your phone call. It transcribes the myriad options, showing them as on-screen text, so it’s additionally comfortable to get an overview of all the available alternatives before making your selection. Google says the feature has been used with 50 million business calls since launch.
Google’s focus on phone call features for its Pixel devices is far from a new initiative. But giving them their section during the Pixel 7’s launch highlighted how influential they’ve become to Google’s marketing, where they sit prominently alongside performance and camera quality claims.
In 2020, the same year it launched the Pixel 5, Google released Hold for Me, a feature that has Google Assistant monitor a call when you’re put on hold and alert you when it’s time for you to speak with an actual human being. Initially launched for the Pixel 5, 4A, and 4A 5G, the feature was released for Pixel devices returning to the Pixel 3.
Finally, there’s Wait Times, another feature that launched alongside last year’s Pixel 6 that has since been made available on the Pixel 3A and up. Like Hold for Me, Wait Times is designed to ease the frustration of being placed on hold.
But instead of handling your call for you, the feature estimates the amount of time you might be put on hold based on call lengths from other people who have dialed the same number.
In particular, Direct My Call and Wait Times are only available in the US. Call Screen is available across multiple countries, but only users in the US can have it work automatically, according to Google’s support page. Meanwhile, Hold for Me is only available in Australia and Canada outside the US. Thankfully, Google hasn’t cited any geographical restrictions for its Clear Calling feature.