Dodge spam calls on original Google Pixel with Call Screen: now rolling out

  • Google has started rolling out Assistant’s Call Screen feature to the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
  • Call Screen allows Assistant to answer calls on the user’s behalf.
  • It’s only available in the U.S. at the moment.

Google has started rolling out the Pixel 3’s Call Screen feature to the original Pixel and Pixel XL, according to reports on Reddit. A number of Pixel owners have chimed in to a thread started over the weekend to confirm the deployment.

Call Screen allows Google Assistant to answer calls on the user’s behalf. It announces itself and asks what the purpose of the call is, while users can listen in to the conversation to take over if they want to. It’s something that can deter nuisance callers.

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Google rolled out Call Screen to the Pixel 2 and 2XL only last month and it had been expected to make its way to the original Pixels shortly after. Some device owners have also reported receiving saved call transcripts too, a feature which isn’t even on all Pixel 3 smartphones yet (though Google says it will be by the year’s end).

However, some Pixel owners still report having neither feature, so it looks like a staged rollout.

Call Screen is still U.S.-only for the time being but Google plans to roll it out in more regions in the future. If you’re in the States and are yet to receive it, look out for it arriving on your Pixel 1, 2, or 3 in the next couple of weeks.

December 2018 security patch arrives for Pixel, Nexus, Essential Phone, and 2016 Pixels

Update #2, December 5 at 8:39 a.m. ET: Google has posted December 2018 factory images and OTA files for the original Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. You can download them below:


Update #1, December 3 at 4:12 p.m. ET: Essential is usually quick to roll out Android security patches soon after Google releases them, and this month’s patch is no different. Essential Phone owners, the December Android security patch should be rolling out to your devices now!


Original article, December 3 at 1:05 p.m. ET: Right on schedule, Google has released Android’s December security patch. The new factory images for the various Google devices are here, while the OTA files are here.

The good news is that the Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X are still getting updates, despite the fact that the company is no longer obligated to issue security patches for the three-year-old devices.

However, the bad news is that — just like last month — the security patches for the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are not here yet. Last month, the updates for the OG Pixel devices came about two weeks after the initial batch. Is this going to be the trend from now on?

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The December patch itself includes fixes for multiple security vulnerabilities. The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in media framework that could enable a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a device. However, Google has no record of any attacker actually exploiting this vulnerability.

The patch also includes a long-awaited fix for the memory management problems present on the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL. There’s also some camera improvements, a fix for flickering always-on-display, and some Bluetooth audio enhancements. Check out the table below to see what’s getting a fix for your device(s):

If you don’t want to wait for the December security patch to make its way to your phone, you can download the latest factory image or OTA file from the links below. From there, you can either flash a fresh build to your phone or sideload the OTA update.

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