Accidental dialing is pretty common, especially when your phone is in your pocket or in your bag. But what some Pixel 6 owners are experiencing right now is not normal at all and the culprit is not your pocket or the stuff in your bag but your digital assistant. It seems that there is a bug with Google Assistant that is causing it to auto-dial random contacts, sometimes in the middle of the night. It is a pretty inconvenient bug and may cause issues for users. Google says they’re working on a fix.
At first, this ghost calling error on the newly-released Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices seemed like isolated incidents. But if you look at the Reddit thread as well as social media posts, this is affecting a lot of users. If they look at their activity history, it seems like Google Assistant was placing calls for them even when there was no command given or there was no chatter at all in the background. Most of these random calls happened in the middle of the night when the user was asleep.
Some users have found some workarounds or temporary solutions to avoid these very inconvenient ghost calls. Android Police says some have disabled the Google Assistant on their lock screen while some have disabled just the “Hey Google” voice commands. Some have even ended up deleting contacts that their assistant keeps on “butt-dialing” which may be a separate issue altogether. In the latter case, the call was triggered when the user was speaking in Farsi, which is actually a language it doesn’t support.
Former owner of Android Police, Artem Russakovskii, says that this might be due to a corrupted or misconfigured settings that were imported from a previous backup. While he found a temporary workaround by clearing the Google app’s settings and cache, the problem seemed to recur a day later. One name that seemed to be more common to some of the complaints is “James” but it isn’t limited to just that name.
Google says they are working on a fix for this issue that they’re apparently aware of. There is no timeline though as to when a patch will be rolled out to owners of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro so in the meantime, you’ll have to deactivate the hotword detection for Google Assistant to avoid these random auto-calls.