One of the biggest reasons why someone should consider a Pixel device isn’t the hardware. Instead, it’s the additional features such as Hold for Me or Call Screen. These make it much easier to deal with automated systems and can save you from answering too many spam calls throughout the day.
However, it seems that if you received the December update on your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, those features are no longer available (via Droid-Life). After manually sideloading the December update on our Pixel 6 Pro, we can confirm that the features have, indeed, been removed entirely.
While we continue to await an explanation as to why the December update is rolling out so slowly, a new post on the Google Phone app forums explains what happened to Call Screening/Hold for me.
In light of a bug in the December Android update, we are disabling Hold For Me and Call Screening on Pixel 6 devices running on Android S December QPR release (e.g. SQ1D.211205.016.A4) (follow below instructions to identify Android build for your phone) until we fix the underlying problems. Thanks to those of you who reported this issue.
At least Google recognized that something was going on, but this December update is definitely one of Google’s weirdest. Not only is it supposed to fix a slew of issues surrounding Android 12, but it’s also expected to provide optimizations for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
On the bright side, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to wait for an update to Android itself. Instead, Google could just release an update to the Phone app through the Play Store and bring the Call Screening / Hold for me features back into the fold for Pixel 6 owners. Finally, Google also points out that these features have been removed for anyone running the SQ1D update, so this affects many more users and is not region-specific.