Friday, April 13, 2018

Call Screen is Great, but Google Should Make It Easier to Search Phone Numbers of Incoming Calls

Google’s Call Screen is one of my favorite new software features of the past couple of years. I probably get far too much pleasure out of sending spam bots there as a means of retaliation for messing with my day and wasting the world’s time. But here’s the thing, I often only know they are spam bots because of something else I do prior to screening their call that I wish Google would try and implement into a phone’s call experience.

Not sure yet what I’m talking about? I’m talking about a task so many of us likely do on a regular basis – Google Search for phone numbers. I probably do this 3-4 times per day.

Think about what I’m suggesting. Instead of an unknown call (that also hasn’t been marked “Spam” or filtered by Google) flowing into your phone and then you opening a tab in Chrome on your computer and Google Searching the number to see who it might be, Google could instead add a little shortcut to the incoming call to help you do it from phone.

Google already knows how to recognize phone numbers and addresses from just about any app or screen. I can’t imagine it would be that difficult for their AI smarts to recognize a call, copy the number, and then create a bubble next to the “Screen Call” button that says something like “Search Number.” You would then tap that button and perform a Google Search to see if those results would help you better understand the caller. If that person or organization sucks, well, then “Screen Call” their ass. Or hang-up. Or answer and enjoy a bit of conversation in this text-heavy world of ours! Whatever you want to do, but you get the point.

As a related idea, Google or another developer (like Pushbullet) should think about some sort of shortcut that mirrors incoming call notifications to a computer that could provide a similar Google Search shortcut for phone numbers. And honestly, that might be an even better solution.

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