We can all agree that e-mail spam and pop-up ads are some of the most annoying things in the world, but what about spam calls? They’re equally bad and surprisingly, still a thing – in this day and age!
Even though one might think that phone companies would have already found a way to spare us by unwanted call attempts on our smartphones, they’re still very common. Thankfully, technology enables us to identify and block those numbers a lot easier.
And finally, Google has started making use of this technology to give Android users some peace of mind. The catch is that the new feature is available only its Android phone app on Google’s own Nexus smartphones.
It works pretty easily. Google already has a wealth of phone numbers in its database (so many that people concerned about their privacy would be scared to death) and caller ID is already a thing on Android.
The feature is merely the next step in identifying which of the numbers Google knows are spam sources.
When the Phone app identifies a spam call, a big red warning flash will inform the user of the nature of the incoming phone call. Similarly, safe calls are signaled by a reassuring green light. Users are still given the chance to reject annoying mass calls or – for whatever reason – take them.
It’s not a perfect spam detection software, evidently, but the system can be refined with user input. If they receive any undetected spam calls, users can report the number as spam and Google will know to mark it as such on future occasions. At the same time, users can correct the software if a number was mistakenly labeled as spam.
The feature is definitely a nice convenience, particularly in countries where telemarketers are a constant frustration. However, it’s also quite unfortunate that Google’s technology is currently limited to Nexus and Android One smartphones with no plans of expanding it.
That said, both Apple Store and Google Play Store offer a variety of apps that also provide this functionality, but without the convenience of being built-in in your caller app.
But then again, not all phone users are comfortable with knowing that Google takes a peek at every number that calls them.