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Google Phone for Android helps eradicate spam calls. How to get this week



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Instead of having to find out who is calling, this new feature tells who and why.

Angela Lang / CNET

Android users will soon get more help directly from their phone screen to fight robocalls and spam calls. Google announced this week that the company’s phone app will start using a new verified call feature to not only tell you which business is calling you but also Why they call. Knowing that an unknown number really is who it claims to be is designed to prevent you from ending up in ordinary systems where crooks are legitimate companies to deceive you for sensitive information or money.

Google’s move is the latest in an industry-wide effort by the federal government and private technology companies, including T-Mobile, Apple and a cohort of wireless carriers to reduce automated, spam and scam calls that people receive on their phones, some of which are established consumer protection laws. In 2019, robocalls reached a full-time high of 58.5 billion, according to YouMail, a company that provides blockchain services.

Verified calls complement Google’s previous attempts to force mobile calls through a the call display function which relies on Google Assistant to identify calls. Below we follow what we know about this new Verified Call feature and how to get it as soon as this week.

What are verified calls for Google Phone?

An enhanced version of caller ID, the function checks if a call really comes from a participating company. When you receive an incoming call from a verified company, you see the company name, logo, a verification mark and a reason why the company is calling – as long as the company provides this.

For example, a restaurant delivery service may tell you that the driver is lost or that your delivery has arrived. Or the call screen may explain that your airline needs to warn you of a change in flight time. Maybe your bank is calling to verify a major purchase or flag potential fraud. Seeing these reasons is designed to give you confidence in the caller.

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An example of what an incoming call will look like with Google’s verified call.

Google

How to download the Google Phone app and how to set it up

Not all Android phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, use Google’s phone app out of the box and choose their own caller instead. To take advantage of the new Verified Calls feature, you need to download Google Phone and set it as your default caller. If you are not prompted to change the default the first time you open the app, you must enter Appar section of the settings app and select it by default.

Some phone manufacturers, such as Google and OnePlus, use Google’s app out of the box, while others do not. Here’s the easiest way to find out if your phone uses the Google Phone Caller.

  • If you have a Samsung Galaxy device, you really need to switch to Google Phone to use the Verified Calls feature.
  • Otherwise, open the Google Play Store and search for Google Phone. If you already have the app installed, you will see a button that says Open.
  • If you do not have Google Phone, it says on the button Install. Click on it to start the download and install the app. You may need to go into the app settings and make this the default.
  • If you see a message saying that the app is not compatible with your device, come back later this week. Google’s announcement says the company is launching support throughout the week.

Google’s post is not clear on what steps, if any, you need to take to start using the new feature, but at least I would open the phone app and press the menu button in the upper right corner, Select settings > Caller ID and spam and activate all options. If nothing else, Google will use Google Assistant to help screen calls and keep robocalls away in addition to verifying your incoming calls.

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Samsung owners must switch to Google’s phone app to use verified calls.

Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

Where will verified calls work?

Verified calls will start in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India. Google will add more countries in the future.

There’s still a lot we do not know about verified calls, but rest assured, we’ll start testing it as soon as we can and updating this post during the process. If you want additional help getting rid of robocalls, we have some steps you can take. Carriers are also Collaborate with technology that would help reduce spam calls and make features like verified calls more common. If you are a T-Mobile customer, make sure you use the Scam Shield.






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