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Home / Tips and Tricks / The Google Phone app on Android helps eradicate spam calls. Here’s what you need to know

The Google Phone app on Android helps eradicate spam calls. Here’s what you need to know



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Verified calls roll out to more devices, but may take a few weeks.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Android users will soon have another tool to help in fight robocalls and spam calls. Last week, Google announced that the company’s phone app will add a new verified call feature to not only tell you which business is calling you, but 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 trick 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 the new Verified Calls feature and how to get it.

What are verified calls for Google Phone?

An enhanced version of caller ID, the feature checks if a call really comes from a participating company. When you receive an incoming call from a verified company, you will 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 calls.

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 go to 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 do not have Google Phone, the button will say 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, keep checking. The phone app will be available on devices running Android 9.0 Pie or later. Google did not provide me with a list of supported devices, but said it would be available on “many flagship Samsung and LG devices.” Again, it rolls out slowly, so if you do not see the app available right now, try again every other day.

Once you have installed the phone app on your device, open it and press the menu key in the upper right corner, select settings > Caller ID and spam and turn on Verified calls. The next time a participating company calls you, information about their caller ID will appear on your screen.

It’s also a good idea to double-check that your phone number has been added to your Google Account. Open the Settings app on your Android device and go to Google > Data & messages > Device phone figure and make sure your phone number is listed. If not, you need to add it by clicking on the link below the blank text box.

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

Angela Lang / 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 on technologies that would help reduce spam calls and makes verified call features more common. If you are a T-Mobile customer, make sure you use the Scam Shield.






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