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Why does Phone by Google update itself?

have a rooted Google Pixel 3XL running Android V10, have the Settings option 'Automatic System Updates' unchecked, and in Google Play, 'Auto update apps' is set to 'Don't auto update apps'.

However, over the past week or so, Phone by Google has auto-updated itself three times! Each time this happens, I uninstall updates and re-install V65.0.370544174. I keep this old version because my default phone app is True Phone, the newer versions of Phone by Google require that it be the default app to operate, but I need Phone by Google to listen to voicemails.

So two questions:
  • Can you please suggest what I should try to get Phone by Google to stop updating itself?
  • If there is no such setting, can you suggest an app for listening to voicemails?
I no longer have a Pixel, so can't check anything directly. But if auto updates are off generally in the Play Store and this app does not have auto update enabled for itself (because each app has its own individual "auto update enabled" tick box in the Play Store: go to the app's entry and press the 3 button menu to check), then the only possibility I can think of would be if Play Services was overriding this. It shouldn't be, and I don't know a way of stopping it if it were, so hopefully it's just the extra tick box that's been missed.
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Google tends to ignore the 'do not auto update apps' for specific apps, mainly Google apps but I've caught it updating some of my favorite old apps from 2010 and that was a huge NO NO from me, so I up and disabled the Download Manager and Play Store and just side-load everything. Many apps like browsers and music apps have their old download managers anyway so the system app download manager is obsolete---only used to auto-update Google Play Services/Store and server-side update apps it wants to. I do not believe in updates so I just turned all that off.

A good indicator of it auto-updating whatever it wants is randomly seeing an animated 'download' icon and revealing it shows 'Google Play' as the source, but it vanishes before you can action upon it.

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I disable both. Keep in mind, sometimes Play Store respawns itself (goes from disabled to enabled all on its own) and starts the process over again.

I also couple disabling both Play Store and Download Manager by also side-loading an app called Netguard No-Root Firewall. That app can be found on APKPURE, and after you enable 'unknown sources' in security settings, you should be able to download that file on any browser (preferably one with its own download manager like Samsung Internet which works on any phone, or Firefox) and then use your file explorer app to select the file, and tap it. You should get an install prompt, and then tap done when you see 'app installed'

Then open NetGuard, and go to settings, advanced, and enable 'system apps' then go back and find Play Store, Download Manager and make sure both the wifi and data symbol has a slash through them. Also, since this is a phone app we're talking about here, you can also disable the wifi/data for Phone by Google as well, and then it should not only never update again, but just work as a regular old phone dialer.
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