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Google’s Phone app can now prevent some spam calls from interrupting you

Google’s Phone app can now prevent some spam calls from interrupting you

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Google Pixel 2
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Google’s Phone app can now automatically filter out calls that it detects to be spam, sending them directly to voicemail. Your phone won’t ring, and you won’t even get a missed call notification for any calls that Google weeds out. 

If the spam callers leave a voicemail — you know, like the usual spiel about charges being filed against you over back-owed taxes — that will still find its way to your voicemail inbox. But again, there won’t be a notification about it. “You’ll still see filtered calls in your call history and be able to check any voicemail you receive,” Google says on its help page.

Most important of all, you won’t be getting constantly interrupted by a vibrating phone as the calls come in. You can enable the option with a simple toggle from the settings area of the Phone app.

The Phone app already identifies suspected spam callers by turning your phone’s entire screen red when it rings, which is a clear visual indicator that you shouldn’t pick up. 

These features only work for calls that Google can successfully detect. In my experience, it often fails to pick up on neighborhood spoofing, which are those annoying calls that share the same area code and first few numbers of your own phone number. But you can help Google’s system — and by extension other people — by reporting the nuisances that do manage to get through as spam right inside the Phone app.