Android devices can do pretty much anything nowadays. But in their search for complexity and power, it seems sometimes Google forgets to take care of the little things in Android. One clear example is the platform’s new call blocking and screening features, which come baked into Android N. Things are very inconsistent across manufacturers, carriers and devices. How you block your unwanted calls depends on your handset, which makes things confusing.
With Android N, Google aims to bring things to another level by providing true support for call locking and call screening. How will they accomplish this? Let’s go through the details.
Number blocking on Android N
Obviously, we already have ways to block callers. What is it that makes the new number blocking feature special? I suppose the key element here is consistency.
For starters, Android N will standardize number blocking. This will get rid of confusion when switching between devices, as the procedure will be either identical or very similar.
Because blocking numbers will now work on a system level, blacklisted contacts will be blocked from both calling and texting. In addition, it won’t be as easy to lose your blocked numbers. Number blocking can persist across factory resets, as well as switching devices (when using Backup & Restore).
Of course, phone and SMS apps will be able to access the list of blocked numbers, but they won’t be the only ones enjoying this neat new treat. An API will be provided for service providers to be able to tap into the list. This means your carrier will be able to block callers from a service level when you blacklist it on your phone. Once this is done, there is no way for unwanted callers to reach you.
Call screening on Android N
But what if you think completely blocking a number is a bit too extreme? Call screening will make things a bit simpler for you whenever you want to take it a little easier. Call screening allows the device to recognize numbers better and perform certain actions instead of blocking altogether.
This feature can simply reject specific calls, not record them in the call log or stop them from showing up in the notification area.
These certainly won’t be the biggest features coming to Android N, but if there is something I have learnt is that these smaller upgrades are what makes a true difference for our mobile experiences. Sometimes we don’t want flashy new features, we just want things to work.
We know calls are becoming archaic as mobile connectivity evolves, but that is exactly why we need to perfect call and SMS control. How is it the most basic features of an Android phone are not good enough yet?
Hit the comments to let us know what you think about these new features. Will you be taking advantage of number blocking and call screening?