Calling businesses for customer service, inquiries, or other reasons can be pretty stressful. With the announcement of Google’s new Pixel 6 devices, that experience should become less painful with the new Phone app features. The Wait Times and Direct My Call features will help callers remove some of the pain points when contacting businesses and also make better use of their time while making that phone call. These features will be available for Pixel 6 devices exclusively for now but hopefully will eventually roll them out to more devices.

If you’ve wasted so many minutes being put on hold before you are able to talk to an actual person, Wait Times can help you figure out how long you will be waiting. The feature displays the projected time when you want to try and call a toll-free number. This way you’ll be able to decide whether or not to place the call. You will also get estimates for the rest of the week so you can figure out when’s the best time to try and get through an actual person. The Wait Tims are inferred from the call length data from users but the information is of course anonymized.

The Direct My Call feature meanwhile is helpful for those businesses that have pretty complicated phone trees. Google Assistant will translate the automated messages for you so you can read through the options on which number to press next or what to tap to get the actual information you need. While the various options are read aloud, you can do other things or even put your phone down and then read through the options when you return to it.

This feature is powered by Google’s Duplex technology which was also used for the reservation-setting feature previously available for Pixel devices. Both Wait Time and Direct My Call builds on previous features that they have released to make it easier to call businesses. This includes the Hold For Me feature that “listens” to the hold music for you and then lets you know when an actual person is on the other end of the line.

Google is also now improving on the caller ID coverage for businesses by letting users share information about the “unknown businesses” that you call or answer. The features announced today are exclusive for Pixel 6 devices for now but will most likely become available for older Pixel phones as well.


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