Google’s Phone app could soon tell you why a business is calling you

Google indefinitely delays the digital model of its Cloud Next conference

Google’s Phone app appears to be getting a new Verified Calls feature that will show you a business’ name, logo, and the reason it’s calling you. News of the feature first appeared on a Google support page that was spotted by Android Police. The feature relies on businesses supplying its phone number, your phone number, and the reason for its call, directly to Google, which pushes this information to the Phone app. If the information lines up, then the phone app gives the call a Verified Call badge.

It’s a feature that has the potential to be enormously helpful, not just for working out who’s calling you, but for knowing when a call is even worth picking up in the first place. I’m happy to pick up the phone if my bank is calling to let me know about a problem with my account, for example, and this feature could be another way to help weed out marketing calls and other spam.

Although Google says the feature is on by default, it outlines a couple of limitations on its support page. First is the fact that Verified Calls relies on businesses proactively providing information to Google, meaning not all calls without the verified badge will necessarily be spam. Google also says the service only works on the Google Phone app, which means it won’t be available on every Android phone. It also relies on you adding your phone number to your Google account. Google says that it will delete your phone number and the reason for a call “within minutes” of the call being verified.

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