Google has announced that it is adding a red “suspect spam caller” alert to Google Voice calls if it believes they are not legitimate. In a message on Thursdaythe company says it identifies spam “using the same advanced artificial intelligence system” as its traditional Android phone app.
If the spam label appears, you also have the option to confirm that a call was spam – in which case future calls will be sent directly to your voicemail – or clarify that it wasn’t, which will remove the label for future calls .
Google Voice has had the ability to automatically filter calls Identified as spam to voicemail for years, and you can also screen calls before you actually pick them up, but those options may not have been great if you’re the type of person who gets a lot of important calls from unknown numbers. Google does say that you need to turn off the Filter spam feature by going to Settings > Security > Filter spam if you want automatic spam labels.
While it’s certainly nice that Google Voice gives users more options to deal with spam, there are some advanced features it currently offers on its Pixel phones that could help even more. In particular, the ability to have the Google Assistant screen the call while you can choose the answers would be a big boon – although it seems unlikely that the company would put such a flagship feature on a service that many people use for free.
The spam alerts will be available to anyone with a Google Voice account and could take up to 15 days to roll out from Thursday, the company said. That means you should see them on January 13.