The Google Phone app is getting an update on all the devices that use it. There is not much of a change in terms of visual overhaul but the teardown shows that Google has added a number of new features. Version 22 of Google Phone app gets a call screening feature so users can more easily differentiate between legitimate and unwanted callers.
Android Police reports that the new version of the app will also bring a new feature to simplify recording voicemail greetings right on your phone. These features are not live yet and might be live only for a small set of users. There is a possibility that Google will make it available for more users via a server-side switch after the wider rollout of the application.
One of the big new feature revealed by teardown of the APK is call screening, which will make it easier to filter spam calls. The resources found in v22 of the Phone app includes a new settings screen where users will be able to turn on and configure call screening. The feature won’t be widely effective like Truecaller but it will help you avoid connecting to random spammers.
With call screening, whenever a suspicious caller dials your number, Google will ask them for a name and possibly some follow-up questions before their call can be completed. The responses will be transcribed into text for you to read and even begin listening to the call when it begins. From there, you have the option to either accept or reject the call. It might be restricted depending on your area, country and carrier support.
Google may only be implementing it to support carriers that already offer call screening. The next update could be an additional screen to manage your voicemail greetings. The feature was recently spotted on the Google Voice app and might be heading to the Phone app as well.
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The teardown of the app reveals that Google is building screens for listening to your current voicemail greeting and recording a new one. This means that the users of Phone app will be able to change their voicemail recording without relying on their carrier or calling up the voicemail system. These will be the key changes with the application but it is not clear which carriers will support it.