There are few things more unpleasant than answering an unknown number, only to get yourself locked in a sales, survey or marketing call.
Luckily for those who always fall for such ruses, Google has packed spam call detection to its Android phone app.
A previous major update came to the Android phone app in 2013, when it got boosted with caller ID. The expansion of the app was targeted at the enterprise sector and was coordinated with the release of Android KitKat.
The recent update makes the feature ever more useful, as it puts an additional fence between spam callers and the end users. Keep in mind that, for the moment, the feature only works on Android One and Nexus gadgets.
The Android caller app has strong rivals already on the market. Truecaller, for example, is a startup that provides a smart caller app that hit popularity records in India and other emerging markets. A neat feature of Truecaller is that it crowdsources a database of phone numbers so it can offer caller ID warnings to those who install the app. Cyanogen Inc. commended the potential of Truecaller's features and it signed a partnership with the startup to integrate the caller ID into its own Android-based OS.
Google is now upping the ante, noting that its new Android caller feature will enable users to both block and report numbers coming from spam callers. This could mean that companies will gather and use data to get rid of pesky callers, but it is worth noting that the Android caller app takes a different approach from Truecaller.
However, Google's spam detection feature for Android will certainly ease the life of phone operators who did not use such a handy tool until now.
Rival OEM Apple is also loading its guns to fight off spam callers, with a feature that should roll out in its next mobile OS iteration, iOS 10. The app is reportedly working already in the beta version of iOS 10, and it should land on all iPhones later this fall.
Should you want to download the Android spam caller app, you should know that the APK is signed by Google and it does not replace your current app but simply upgrades it.
The file bolsters a cryptographic signature, which vouches for the file's safety. If you get harassed by unknown numbers way too frequently, it might be a good idea to download and install it right now. The more patient of users will see Google pushing the update to their devices in a few days.
Should you need a reminder on how to switch on spam protection after the update on the Google Nexus, read about it on the official page.