Mobile devices have made communication ubiquitous and persistent. With our mobile devices essentially tethered to our analog lives, we text, call, chat and email almost everywhere. Case in point: have you ever answered a call while in the shower? Perhaps if you're anticipating an important call or message, you won't find this so strange.
But it's this very attitude that can sometimes cause trouble. What if you're calling your boss at an inopportune moment? Or perhaps you're sending a message to someone in a different time zone, and she can't answer because it's 3 AM. A simple Android app can help add some context to your contact list.
More than just caller ID
Caller IDs are usually self-explanatory. Wife's calling. Girlfriend's calling. Boss is calling. You'll know who's calling even before saying hello. But what if you can go beyond just knowing the name of the caller? An app called Current Caller ID by WhitePages gives you a bit more information about the caller, which may help put the call in context.
Current Caller ID incorporates data from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, which it then presents on the caller ID screen. The app even displays the caller's location, if they've recently logged into social networking services using location-aware devices.
While you may wonder about the usefulness of this information, it helps to know the situation of your caller. Maybe they're on vacation. Maybe it's raining cats and dogs from where the caller is. Perhaps if your caller is hinting being depressed in their tweets, you'd think twice about ignoring the call.
Who are your top callers?
Aside from giving a glance of your contacts' social networking updates, Current Caller ID also offers statistical analysis. For each user in your call log, you can check SMS and call frequency, and how many minutes and SMS you've sent for the past three months (12 months for the paid version). The app will even suggest the best times for calling your contact and the best times for sending SMS, judging from call history and SMS reply times.
The app will also estimate the length of your calls based on history. “We'll probably talk for 1-3 minutes,” the app says of my most frequently called contact. Then again, the app also says I'm more of a texter than a caller. You even get a list of the top three most frequent correspondents, which can include calls and texts.
For each caller or SMS correspondent, you also get a balance scale of texts sent or received so you'll know whether you're more of a sender or receiver of messages.
For social animals out there, you can share your statistics through any supported app so your friends would know that 9-10 AM is the best time to text you or that 3-4 PM is your best time for taking calls.
And since the app is made by WhitePages, it also offers an interface to do person searches, business search and reverse number lookup for more than 200 million users and businesses, assuming you also have the WhitePages app, of course.
Current Caller ID used to be a 7-day trial, but is now a completely free download from the Google Play store. A $1.99 upgrade is available, which extends tracking to 12 months.
J. Angelo Racoma is a journalist and community manager with a keen eye for emerging standards and technologies. He is passionate about the enabling nature of mobile devices in both emerging and established markets. Aside from mobile and apps, Angelo has an interest in enterprise software and technology startups as an editor for Tech Wire Asia and e27.co.
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