Product reviews, deals and the latest tech news

Now, Google Voice will alert you to possible spam calls

The Google Voice app will now display a red “suspected spam caller” warning if the company’s algorithms determine that the call is not from a real number. The business claims in a post published on Thursday that it is able to recognize spam “using the same powerful artificial intelligence” engine as its original Android phone app.

If the spam label displays, you may either acknowledge that the call was spam (in which case, all subsequent calls will go directly to your voicemail) or explain that it was not spam (in which case, the label will be removed for future calls).

For years, Google Voice has offered the option to automatically send spam calls to voicemail and to screen calls before you pick them up. However, if you frequently receive essential calls from unknown numbers, these features may have been insufficient. If you want Google to automatically identify messages as spam, you’ll need to disable the Filter Spam option in your account’s security settings.

While it’s great that Google is providing Voice users with new tools to combat spam, the company’s more cutting-edge offerings on the Pixel line of smartphones might do much more to combat the problem. It would be especially helpful if Google Assistant could take over call screening and allow you customise its replies, but it’s hard to imagine the firm adding such a prominent feature to a product that so many people use for free.

According to the business, the rollout of the spam alerts to all Google Voice users might take up to 15 days, starting on Thursday. So, the 13th of January is about when you should start to see them.