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The new Google Pixel 6 can take the pain out of actually calling a company

Six Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro lying face down on a surface
(Image credit: Google)

Spending hours on hold with customer support could soon be a thing of the past thanks to new updates included in Google's new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones.

The new devices feature an upgraded Phone app that allows users to cut out a lot of the hassle involved with calling businesses today.

Google also hopes that the next generation of its Phone app will also help keep users safe from spammers and scammers, and end the peril of answering a call from an unknown number.

Good news for milennials

"Our smartphones can do amazing things: They can capture great photos, and they act as our alarm clock, our camera, our stereo, our library, our game console and more, all in one," Jan Jedrzejowicz, Product Manager, Google Voice wrote in a blog post

"But making phone calls, the original 'feature' of our devices, has mostly remained the same for decades."

Top of the list is the new Wait Times feature, which allows users to see the current and projected time estimated to get through to support staff.

Google Pixel 6 Wait Times tool

(Image credit: Google)

The information, based on call length data on toll-free business numbers that Google says is not linked to user identifiers, is available for the whole week, and should help you decide whether you have time to call now, or plan when to call later to avoid long waits.

After calling the business, the new Direct My Call feature leaps into action to help you get speaking to a human agent faster. It uses Google Assistant to transcribe automated messages and Google's Duplex speech recognition tool to list call menu options, so you don't need to keep your phone glued to your ear - a simple tap on the right menu option will do.

Google says that the Assistant is able to recognize when hold music is being played, and Duplex is able to understand the difference between a recorded message and when a human picks up your call.

Google Pixel 6 Direct My Call

(Image credit: Google)

Finally, the new phones feature an upgraded caller ID system that takes feedback and shared information from other Google users to flag when a call could be important. Google knows many users don't answer unknown numbers due to concerns over spam or scams, and will now flag what it thinks a call could be about, displaying a tag such as "Likely: finance and insurance".

The company hopes that as feedback grows over time, more information can be gathered on exactly who is calling you, meaning you shouldn't ever miss an important call again.

And if it is still an unknown number, the upgraded Call Screen feature will give you more information on exactly who is calling you and why, as well as the option to de-list or remove your number from call centre records.

"It’s time to rethink phone calls, and our latest calling assistance features are designed to save you time and make it easier than ever to connect with the right contact at the right time," said Jedrzejowicz.

The new features are only available with Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro deals in the US for now, but should hopefully roll out to other countries soon.

Mike Moore

Mike Moore is News & Features Editor across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.