It is never a pleasing experience when your call is put on hold. Google wants to save you the trouble of waiting anxiously and making good use of those lost minutes with a new Hold for Me feature in the Phone app. This new feature, which is currently being tested as a preview on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, will make the Google Assistant wait for you on the line when someone puts your call on hold. The virtual assistant will then wait for someone to come back on the line, and once the person on the other end is ready to speak, it will alert you with a sound cue, vibration, or an on-screen prompt. Essentially, say goodbye to repetitive hold music forever.
“Hold for Me is powered by Google’s Duplex technology, which not only recognizes hold music but also understands the difference between a recorded message (like “Hello, thank you for waiting”) and a representative on the line. Once a representative is identified, Google Assistant will notify you that someone’s ready to talk and ask the representative to hold for a moment while you return to the call,” Google explained in a blog post. You can read more technical details about how Hold for Me works here.
While your call is on hold and the Google Assistant is waiting for you on the line, the call will be muted to let you focus on something more productive. Plus, users will be able to keep an eye on what’s happening on the call, thanks to real-time captions on the screen. All the processing is done on-device, and the Hold for Me doesn’t require a Wi-Fi or internet connection either. To enable this feature, just go the Setting section of Google’s Phone app and turn on Hold for Me.
Google has not revealed if, or when, the feature will be released for more devices other than the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. But there’s is some hope of its wider availability. “Your feedback will help us bring the feature to more people over the coming months, so they too can say goodbye to hold music and say hello to more free time,” says Google.