Update 11/06/2021 at 9:55am ET: Google confirmed it’s aware of the issue and is working on an “immediate fix.”
Google’s fancy Pixel 6 and 6 Pro only started arriving in customers’ hands last week (mostly a lucky few who managed to place pre-orders so far). However, in that short time, users have reported several strange issues. There’s been a screen flicker issue, problems with the Always-On display and now some claim their Pixel 6/6 Pro randomly called contacts.
Several users on Reddit (via Android Police) and Google’s Pixel Phone Help site (via Android Authority) report that Pixel 6 and 6 Pro devices are placing calls to random contacts, sometimes in the middle of the night.
The main culprit so far seems to be Google Assistant. Some users report that the ghost calls appear in Assistant’s activity history page. Additionally, disabling Google Assistant on the lock screen has resolved the issue for some. What’s particularly concerning is that many users reported the issue happening when there wasn’t background chatter that could have mistakenly triggered Google Assistant (for example, people reported calls were placed while they slept).
The Pixel Phone Help user also reported that a call was triggered one time while they spoke Farsi, a language that Google Assistant doesn’t support.
Neither MobileSyrup staff reporter Dean Daley nor I have experienced this issue on our respective Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6 devices. Daley confirmed to me that he has Assistant enabled on the lock screen. I do as well, but I keep the ‘Hey Google’ hotword turned off on phones (including the Pixel 6) because I hate when my phone intercepts a command I intend for one of my smart speakers.
For those that encounter this problem, it may be worth temporarily disabling Assistant on the lock screen (or the ‘Hey Google’ hotword). You can do that by opening the Google app > tapping your profile in the top-right corner > Settings > Google Assistant > then tap ‘Hey Google & Voice Match’ to turn off the hotword on your phone or tap ‘Lock screen’ to disable Assistant on the lock screen. Other users have avoided the issue by deleting contacts that Assistant calls.
Hopefully, Google pushes out a fix for this problem soon.
Source: Reddit, Pixel Phone Help Via: Android Police, Android Authority