Nobody likes to hear those boring tunes or announcements while patiently waiting for a customer care executive to resolve their issues — especially during these days due to all of the lockdown restrictions and delivery woes. Fortunately, Google knows this is a hassle and has added a nifty new feature to Google Assistant that helps wait out your lengthy phone calls.
Dubbed ‘Hold for Me,’ the feature makes use of Google Assistant to detect whether a real person is on the line or you are hearing a pre-recorded message at the other end. Google Assistant will on hold in your place if latter’s the case. Once it detects that the person is ready to speak with you, the Assistant will then notify you with a sound, vibration, and a prompt on your screen. This way, you could (conveniently) go back to whatever you were doing before the call and pick up right when the customer support representative is ready.
Behind the scenes, Hold for Me is powered by Google’s Duplex technology. For those unaware, Google announced Duplex back at Google I/0 2018 where the company demonstrated its capability to book reservations at restaurants on your behalf. The service is even capable of booking movie tickets.
For those with privacy concerns with this feature, Google promises that no audio recordings or transcripts are sent to its servers. The company claims that the audio processing is done entirely on your device. However, you do have the option to share your Hold for Me data to help Google improve the feature.
According to Google, the new Hold for Me feature will be available in early preview on Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) in the U.S. To get started, you should open the Phone app, tap on Settings, and toggle ‘Hold for Me’. The software giant hopes to expand the feature to more users over the coming months.