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Google Assistant on Android can wait on hold for you
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Smartphones & gadgets

Stuck on hold? How to make Google Assistant wait so you don’t have to

Calling up a business only to be placed on hold is so frustrating. You are most likely to encounter it when you phone a large company and the person you need to speak to isn’t available. Tap or click here to see how T-Mobile’s Scam Shield blocked 21B scam calls in 2021.

It also regularly happens when you get transferred between departments. The receiver of your phone call uses a call waiting system, which places you on hold. They can freely swap between lines, but you need to sit tight or hang up.

Call waiting was first introduced in the 1970s as the first generation of electronic switch machines rolled into use. It’s convenient for the business, but the average American will spend 43 days in their lifetime listening to bad quality smooth jazz while on hold. Nobody has that much time to waste, so read on to see how you can get your Android phone to do it for you.

Here’s the backstory

Waiting on hold is annoying. Luckily, there is something that you can do about it if you have a Pixel 3 or more recent device and live in the U.S., Australia or Canada. While you can’t cut down on time spent on hold, you don’t have to do it yourself.

You could put your mobile phone on speaker and keep an ear out for an answer, but that might not always work in a crowded office. That is where Android’s nifty Hold for Me function comes to the rescue.

By enabling the ability on compatible phones, you can choose to let Google Assistant wait on hold for you. Then, when the agent is available to talk, you get a notification. It uses Google’s Duplex AI technology and shows real-time captions of what’s happening.

You just carry on with your day, and the Assistant will mute the call until it’s answered. Then it will prompt you with a sound, vibration and on-screen alert. You’ll also be able to check real-time captions on the screen.

What else can it do?

Another cool thing about this feature is the Assistant can ask the agent to wait for a few seconds while you pick up the call. So if you are ready to put an end to on-hold music, here’s how to enable it on your Google Pixel 3 or later device:

  • Open the Phone app on your Android phone. (NOTE: If the Phone app isn’t on your device, download it now to take advantage of Hold for Me.)
  • Tap the More icon and tap Settings.
  • To enable it, tap on Hold for Me.

The critical thing to remember is to activate the function with each call to let the Google Assistant wait on hold for you. Here’s how you do it when you place a call:

  • Take your phone off silent mode or vibrate only.
  • Open the Phone app and dial the number.
  • When the company puts you on hold, tap Hold for me, then tap Start.
  • If it’s successful, you’ll see a card on the screen that reads Don’t hang up.
  • After some time, when the person on the other end is available, the text on the screen will read, “Someone’s waiting to talk to you.”
  • Tap Return to call to speak to the person.

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