The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones announced today include a number of new features, but one that wasn’t widely anticipated is the inclusion of a live 24/7 customer care support service. The service will be exclusive to owners of the new Pixel phones, at least initially.
The service will be accessible directly from the phone, with the options of a phone conversation or text chat. Notably it will also include the ability to share your phone screen with the Google support operator. Being able to view your screen live should make it significantly more straightforward to explain an issue and for the support operator to provide a solution more quickly. As far as we know, all support will be with actual support staff rather than any automation or bots. It has also been reported that Google have confirmed the support service will be available in all of the same countries where the Pixel is to be sold.
It’s very unlikely that Google would try provide the same service to users of all Android phones, given the range of devices that would need to be covered even if it was limited to Android 7.0 (Nougat). More likely is that the new service provides one more way for Google to distinguish the Pixel phones from other Android devices. They weren’t able to do that previously with the Nexus phones since they run ‘stock’ Android, whereas other manufacturers such as Samsung heavily modify the operating system to provide a different experience and highlight their own services. They will also no doubt be looking to make the transition from an iPhone as easy as possible by providing direct help to anyone making the switch but having problems transferring their data or accounts, or just in dealing with the differences of a new operating system.
In addition to the integrated help function within the phone, it is expected that Google will have web-based support pages as they have done previously for Nexus users, although they haven’t yet appeared online. Rather than being a dedicated app, the new support service will be available via the Settings app on all Pixel phones, under a tab named ‘Support’.