Google's spam-call killer is coming to Motorola phones
Previously a Pixel exclusive, the Call Screen feature is rolling out to more Android phones.
Justin JaffeManaging editor
Justin Jaffe is the Managing Editor for CNET Money. He has more than 20 years of experience publishing books, articles and research on finance and technology for Wired, IDC and others. He is the coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015), which reveals how financial services companies take advantage of customers -- and how to protect yourself. He graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in English Literature, spent 10 years in San Francisco and now lives in Portland, Maine.
Google's Call Screen technology, which helps determine who's calling your phone and why, is coming to Motorola's G7 and One lines. This marks the first time the feature will be available outside of Google's own Pixel lineup.
Call Screen answers incoming calls, asks the caller for information and then transcribes the response in real time. Designed to help users manage robocalls and telemarketing spam, the feature debuted in the US in October as an exclusive for Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones. Since then, it's been rolled out to Google's other devices, the Pixel 2, 2 XL and the original Pixel.
Now, owners of Motorola G7 and One phones will be able to see verified calls from all participating carrier providers. Call Screen uses Google Assistant to monitor and transcribe calls in real time, but does not send any information to the company's servers, and Google says the feature works even without a data connection.
Call Screen is part of Google's Digital Wellbeing program, which helps users monitor their screen time, including how often they use specific apps, how many times they unlock their phone and how many notifications they receive.
For now, Google Call Screen is currently available only on Pixel and Motorola G7 and One phones in the US, using US English as their locale. Google has stated that it intends to expand the feature to additional countries and languages -- and other Android phones, we expect -- though no specific timeline has been announced.
Watch this: Google Call Screen: Everything to know
In the meantime, phone owners can turn to the many US carriers who have introduced their own antispam solutions. AT&T's free Call Protect app, available to Android and iOS users, automatically blocks fraudulent calls, issues spam call warnings and lets you block unwanted calls from a specific number. The app also offers more advanced call monitoring features, such as reverse number lookup, but those require a monthly subscription. Verizon offers a similar service for its Fios customers.
T-Mobile in January began using a technology that verifies that the phone number shown on caller ID is actually the phone number that placed the call. AT&T and Comcast said they'll offer call authentication between networks later this year.