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Google Phone 22 preps real-time transcription feature to ‘screen unwanted calls’ [APK Insight]

The latest beta version of Google’s Phone dialer app is rolling out with another handy feature aimed at minimizing and filtering spam calls that is limited to Pixel, Nexus, and select other devices. A real-time and on-device transcription service will allow users to “screen unwanted calls.”

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Call Screen: real-time transcription to screen calls

Earlier this year, Google Phone 17 included strings that referred to a “speakeasy” functionality that involved real-time text. The feature was assumed to be just an assistive feature, but version 22 points to a broader capability named “Call screen.”

<string name=”speakeasy_activated_status_setting_summary”>Screen unwanted calls with real-time audio transcription and quick responses</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_activating_status_setting_summary”>Activating Call Screen / Screen unwanted calls with real-time audio transcription and quick responses</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_status_setting_title”>Call Screen</string>

Aimed at screening “unwanted” calls like telemarketers and spam, the feature would “answer” the call without actually requiring a user to speak. Instead, the app would perform a “real-time audio transcription” of the person calling you and offer “Follow-up responses,” presumably based on the subject.

This on-device capability impressively “works without Wi-Fi or data,” while “conversation audio and transcript are saved only in your call history, only on your phone.”

<string name=”speakeasy_followup_key”>speakeasy_followup_key</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_followup_setting_title”>Follow-up responses</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_how_it_works_key”>speakeasy_how_it_works_key</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_setting_title”>Call Screen</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_status_key”>speakeasy_key</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_voice_key”>speakeasy_voice_key</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_voice_setting_title”>Call Screen voice</string>

<string name=”speakeasy_works_setting_summary”>Call Screen works without Wi-Fi or data. The conversation audio and transcript are saved only in your call history, only on your phone.</string>

Update: Thanks to AOSP, we have more details about “Speakeasy,” including how the incoming call notification will feature a button to launch “Call screen” and show suggestion chips for SMS replies.

How to update?

You can sign-up for Google Phone’s beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of the Google Phone app is immediately rolled out when it’s available.

We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

Dylan contributed to this article

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: