As was first announced at the Made by Google event at the beginning of the month, you can now use the Google Assistant to ask if an incoming call from a contact is urgent.
For years now, Pixel phones have offered an option to “Screen call,” allowing the Google Assistant to speak to an incoming caller on your behalf to find out who they are and what they want. This method is surprisingly effective for filtering out unwanted calls from unknown numbers, as many spam callers will hang up automatically, but it’s much less useful when you know who’s calling.
If someone in your contact list calls, you have the same option to screen their call and have the Assistant ask for more information. You can ask anyone who’s ever accidentally used the Assistant to screen a call from a family member why this is a terrible idea.
To address that, the Google Assistant call screening has gained a new option that only appears for people who are on your contact list. Appearing in the incoming call screen as “Ask if urgent,” tapping the option gives your friend or family member a somewhat friendlier greeting from the Google Assistant.
Hi I’m a Google virtual assistant on a recorded line. The person you are trying to reach wanted me to check is it urgent?
As before, Assistant transcribes and displays what the caller says in response, while the Phone app offers tappable options to ask for more information.
The feature was first demonstrated at the Pixel 8 unveiling event, with the company confirming the feature would be rolling out soon. As noted by Mishaal Rahman on X, the rollout has begun and includes older Pixel phones, not just the newly released Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. We’ve confirmed the new “Ask if urgent” option appeared on a Pixel 7 Pro over the weekend, but let us know in the comments if it appears on…
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