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First Android P dev preview tipped for this month, might feature preemptive call-blocking

Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to tell Android which numbers to block? If recent commits make their way to Android P, you won't have to.

Published onMarch 5, 2018

  • Recent commits point to preemptive call-blocking possibly featured in Android P.
  • A Sony engineer created the commits, which have not yet merged with AOSP.
  • Speculation suggests the first Android P dev preview may launch mid-March.

Even though some carriers put limitations on it, you can block specific phone numbers on Android. If a new set of commits spotted by XDA Developers are any indication, Android P might preemptively block certain types of phone numbers.

According to the strings found in the commits, you can block numbers that are not in your contacts list, show up as private, are from a pay phone, and do not have any caller ID information. Interestingly, Android P would theoretically block those types of numbers without any input.

We should note that a Sony engineer is behind the set of commits, which have not been merged with AOSP yet. However, a Google software engineer said they are in favor of the change and believes this is a nice improvement to call blocking.” This does not guarantee that preemptive call blocking will show up in Android P, but it is a foot in the right direction.

Also, carriers might place limitations on preemptive call blocking. Currently, Verizon only allows up to five blocked numbers per line. AT&T also does this on a line-to-line basis, while T-Mobile only allows number blocking with family plans.

Regardless of how it shows up, preemptive call-blocking would hopefully offset the increasing number of robocalls. In 2016, scammers spammed Americans with over 29 billion robocalls that cost consumers $350 million. Compounding matters, the FTC reported that it received over 375,000 complaints each month about automated robocalls in 2017. This compares to the 63,000 complaints per month in 2009.

How to block a phone number on your Android phone
TCL Plex hands on white in hand phone call up to ear

As such, it would only benefit folks if preemptive call-blocking made its way to Android P.

On a related note, we might not have to wait much longer to see if the feature is part of Android P. According to VentureBeat‘s Evan Blass, Android P’s first developer preview is on track for a mid-March release. Blass did not mention a specific date, but seeing how Android Oreo’s first developer preview launched on March 21, 2017, expect a similar timetable for Android P.

Android P Developer Preview 1 is targeting a mid-month release.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 3, 2018

As for what to expect in Android P, recent commits point to greater support for the notch and greater privacy.

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