Google Pixel 5 killer feature revealed — iPhone 12 can’t beat this

Google Pixel 5 hold for me
(Image credit: Google)

Now this is innovation. The new Google Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 4a 5G are chock-full of upgrades, from 5G connectivity to powerful new camera features. But there's one killer feature here that I wish every phone had, including the upcoming iPhone 12.

The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G have a new Google Assistant feature called Hold for Me, which builds on Google's machine learning capabilities. It's the same type of intelligence that make Google Duplex possible, which makes reservations for you via AI.

Google didn't go into a ton of detail during the Google Event, but here's the gist. When you're on hold with a toll-free number, Hold for Me can step in and wait on the line for you. Google Assistant is smart enough to know when a person has come back on the line, so you don't have to waste your time waiting on speakerphone.

You'll see a prompt while you're on a call that says Let your Assistant wait on hold. And you just tap the Hold for me button. 

Google Pixel 5 hold for me

(Image credit: Google)

Once someone returns to the line, you should see prompt pop up on screen that says "Someone's waiting to talk to you" and I'm assuming that will be accompanied by some sort of sound or chime. 

To return to the call, you just tap the big button that says Return to Call in the middle of the screen. It seems very simple. 

Because iOS 14 is already out, we already know that the Siri enhancements are, and at least as of now we don't expect the iPhone 12's software to be able to match this feature in the Pixel 5. 

Because this is a preview feature, Google says that Hold for Me may not be able to detect every on-hold scenario. But overall this looks like a huge win for consumers who loathe waiting on hold for tech support and customer service. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.