For those of you with a Nexus or Android One device and the stock Google Phone app – today is your lucky day. The Google Phone app on stock Android devices is being updated to provide you with spam caller protection. Because that’s becoming an increasingly major concern, especially in the U.S.. Spam caller protection will alert you to potential spam calls (including robocalls) and allow you to block or report them as such.
(Update: not anymore) Google’s stock Dialer now works with more than just Nexus devices
All you need to do to make use of the new feature is have Caller ID enabled and have your Google Phone app updated to the latest version (v4.0.x). You’ll need to be running Marshmallow at least and as the blog post notes, “your phone may need to send information about your calls to Google”, but it’s doing this anyway so don’t fret.
Caller ID and spam protection is actually enabled by default, so if you’ve turned Caller ID off in the past (or want to disable the feature now), just launch the dialer and tap the overflow button (three dots at the top right), then look for Caller ID and Spam Protection and flip the switch. Note that this setting doesn’t affect your number being transmitted when you dial out.
To report calls as spam, go to your call log, tap a recent call and tap Block/Report Spam. You can then block the number and/or report it. If you see a call coming in that’s ominously red that says “Suspected spam caller” then it’s up to you if you even want to accept the call. Phone numbers accidentally labelled as spam can be edited by tapping the call in the call log and choosing Not Spam.
It is not yet clear if or when the feature will be made available to other devices than Nexus and Android One. As you may recall, the stock dialer worked on non-Nexus devices for a while, but Google claimed it was a mistake and removed compatibility.
Do you suffer from spam callers? Should all OEMs be able to add this to their Phone app?