Android 4.4 KitKat caller ID will include Google+ profile pictures starting in 2014

by: Andrew GrushNovember 6, 2013


Last Thursday Google unveiled Android 4.4 KitKat, while also highlighting quite a few unique features that would be arriving with the update. One of the changes coming to KitKat is a totally redesigned phone dialer.

What’s so special about the new dialer? Besides a much more attractive overall design, it’s also much smarter this time around. Not only does the dialer make it easy to search for a business’ number without ever leaving the phone app, it also is bringing smart caller ID that will automatically match incoming numbers against Google Places to provide you more information about the business calling you.

It doesn’t end there. Sometime in 2014, Google plans to flip the switch on a new feature that will bring a similar process to people as well.

Basically if you have a verified phone number with Google, Android 4.4 users will see your Google+ profile picture on their incoming call screen. What’s currently unknown is whether Google plans to bring the updated dialer to older versions of Android, or if this will remain a KitKat feature.

Interestingly enough, all folks with a verified number are opted in by default. For those that don’t want to have their profile pics show up, you will have the option to go into your Google settings and manually opt out. Although this is a pretty cool idea, we also can imagine that some folks might not want to have their “wild party pictures” pop up when they go to call a co-worker or even a boss. At least Google gave users a way out if they don’t want to participate.

Personally I love that Google is working to bring the dialer into the modern age of smartphones, a move that is long overdo. What do you think — like the idea or do you feel that automatically opting folks into the feature is a potential invasion of privacy?

  • John Hamernick-Ramseier

    I think, that posting and changing caller ID pic should be something done inside the dialer. I don’t care if that information is store on G+, just let me control the picture with the dialer.

  • NeedName

    these tech companies really have wood for making everything about our lives public on the web. . . .

    • John Hamernick-Ramseier

      If they want to make everything about our lives public, lets make everything the company does public!

  • Bender

    My Google plus pic is of my ass which will displayed to everyone I call awesome!

  • anon fool

    getting tired of the ‘party pics’ strawman i’ve seen repeated. your
    gplus profile pic is public, always has been afaik. circles control all
    the other content the same as always. if you pick an embarrassing profile pic there’s really no difference from someone googling you today and seeing it.
    having dailer effectively google search the caller at ring time (as
    opposed to the user doing it post-call) is a useful feature. searching on your number
    to retrieve your g+ profile might be opt out, but you had to opt into a
    ‘verified number’ in the first place, the point of which was to build
    richness around your phone number… the fud on g+ has been quite disappointing, not surprising to see it on sites that need clicks though.

    • APai

      but its a slow creep towards asserting their stated policy of sucking everyone to a very public sharing / open profile to share more and more. this is an opt-out feature. the same holds true for facebook. it’s a slow gradual zombie draw towards making us ‘items’ on sale in the supermarket where we are the products. I’d agree with you, but unfortunately, google or fb or each one of these guys are guilty of doing it – facebook does it shamelessly, google not so much when it comes to stabbing our backs in the open.

      • Richard Sequeira

        I’ve typed many people on Google and their information on Facebook and Google+ shows up. Not a big difference here. If you want to not have your picture posted or have your information leeched out, don’t post anything and if you do, be cautious. The internet is a public place and it should be treated as such. You wouldn’t yell out you name, address, and Social Security Number out in a middle of a busy street intersection, why make a big scene now?

        • APai

          my point was about creeping public profile requirement. it ALWAYS starts with a slow nudge, and then we are constantly pushed – we probably will have our phone number linked publicly sometime down the line. since our profiles are public anyways, right ? it’d be opt out. you NEVER know what these guys are upto. guys like orwell, stallman were always right on their money. only thing it sounded far too ridiculous when they proposed that idea. slowly, most of what they say is coming true in one way or the other.

  • Justin Rebar

    So I will finally get the names of those telemarketing companies that wont stop calling? Oh yea, and the debt collectors that think Im somebody else…

  • RanRu

    How long until they start integrating statuses?

    “Karen J. is eating cup noodle and calling you from the bathroom. ‘Just bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof!'”