Waiting too long on the call? Let Google handle it

By Backend Office, Desk Reporter
Hold for Me Image
Google's "Hold for Me" aims to save users the time they waste when put on hold while making calls

The tech giant Google has been pushing forward to advance one of the most important features of a smartphone – to make phone calls. 

The company had launched ‘Call Screen’ in the previous year to screen your incoming calls, ‘Duplex,’ for making appointments and a feature called ‘Verified Calls’ just this month that will tell you who is calling and why.

Now, with the introduction of “Hold for Me,” Google rolls out one more handy feature.

It briefly showed off the Pixel’s latest trick at the company’s hardware launch, where Google unveiled its new Pixel smartphones.

Hold for Me

If you are put on hold while calling a doctor’s office, an insurance carrier, customer support, or indeed any number, the feature called “Hold for Me,” will remain on the line for you, then alert you when someone picks up.

Google explained that the technology was built on the intelligence of its current Call Screen and Duplex technology.

Call screening uses voice transcription to allow you to ask for details from an unknown caller before you actually take the call while Duplex technology is for conducting natural conversations over the phone to perform “real world” tasks. The program is aimed at completing particular tasks, such as scheduling appointments.

How does it work?

Google showed in the short demo of “Hold for Me,” how after they have been put on hold, a Pixel device owner is able to activate the new feature. This is achieved by selecting a new button above the buttons on the phone screen to mute the call, turn on the speakerphone and other in-call phone controls.

When enabled, you are notified with a “Don’t hand up” message, where you are told that Google Assistant is listening to your call, so you can do other things.

On this screen, a button is also available that allows you to tap to return to the call at any time, and below that, an on-screen message says “playing music” which indicates whether the music is still being heard by the Google Assistant. You may also choose to press the red hang up button on the screen to terminate a call.

Most importantly, the feature will alert you that it’s time to return to the call when a person comes on the line.

At a time when people are waiting on hold for hours to get government assistance related to COVID-19, the “Hold for Me” option may be more than a beneficial new feature. Google says the new feature will be available on its new Pixel 5 smartphones and will soon be rolled out through the next “Pixel feature drop” to its older-generation Pixel phones.