One of the best new features for Android users is Google’s call screening tech it first released in the US last fall, but it’s only been available so far on Pixel phones. That changes soon, as Motorola has announced today that its G7 and One smartphone lines will be the first phones outside Google’s Pixel family to get the feature.
The feature, which launched first on the Pixel 3 and was later expanded to the original Pixel and the Pixel 2, uses software to automate the answering of the call and the gathering of information about who’s calling and why. You initiate the feature by pressing the “screen call” button when you see an unrecognized call, and then you’re given the information onscreen both in real time and in the the form of a transcript afterward.
The robocall war wages on
The feature is mainly designed to combat robocalls. The Federal Trade Commission says it receives around 500,000 complaints per month related to automated calls and texts, and Americans suffered a record 26.3 billion spam calls last year. Now, not just Google, but also large telecoms and internet providers are also working to cut down on automated calls and spam texts. AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all either announced a service for identifying and blocking spam calls or, in Verizon and T-Mobile’s case, have already released free services to do just that.
Motorola says its families of G7 and One devices have already begun receiving access to the feature as part of a broader integration of Google’s Digital Well Being suite. It’s not clear at the moment when most users should expect to see the features show up, but they should be arriving as part of an update from Motorola. Digital Well Being exited beta last November and became available for a broader array of Android phones, so Motorola is very likely not the last Android handset maker who will gain access to Call Screen, which is currently in beta in Canada as the first international market for the feature.