If you think Chrome's rapid updates are annoying, Google's Phone application might send you over the edge. The last 4.0 update came in August, then 5.1 was included with Pixel devices, then another 4.1 update for non-Android 7.0 users, and now we are at 6.0. So what warrants a major version bump? Not much.
Google Phone 5.1 actually added most of the UI changes you might notice (check out our post about it). The first noticeable change here is when receiving a call, the notification now has larger Answer and Decline buttons. This is also on the Phone 4.1 APK, but it is worth mentioning here. Read More
We're still tearing down all the applications from the Pixel system dump, and the included Google Phone 5.1 app is certainly worth talking about. Without further ado, let's dive in!
New call UI
The first major change is the brand new Call UI, which is now a translucent blue shade over your wallpaper. The new interface looks a bit like the iOS dialer, with large buttons and a circular Caller ID icon at the top. Read More
As we reported yesterday, Google recently opened up the Google Dialer app to virtually all phones running Marshmallow. Great! Everyone was happy for a few hours, and then the other shoe dropped. It turns out this was not intentional on Google's part, and the Play Store listing no longer allows installing on non-Nexus phones. What's more, sideloading is blocked in the latest build. Read More
The Google dialer is what ships on all Nexus phones, but OEMs usually create their own vastly different dialer app. Beginning with the v2.05 update, you can install Google's version on most other phones too. This update rolled out a few weeks ago, but it seems that people are still just noticing, so let's get this all out in the open. Read More
Apparently if you call an emergency number from your Android device, you can't block calls for the next 48 hours.
We don't know why this is the case, though we imagine it may be to prevent you from blocking your local police department or other emergency personnel. Read More
The default dialer app that comes with the latest Android N Developer Preview has a small but significant change.
When you fire up the Google Phone app, an indicator now appears alongside the middle tab showing how many calls you've missed. Read More
Today is Easter Sunday in many countries, and though humble tech bloggers don't really get fancy luxuries like "vacations" or "religious holidays" or "time to sleep," it seems appropriate to point out an Android Easter egg that's apparently been lying in wait for quite a while. The folks at Ausdroid spotted this one, a simple nod to British sitcom The IT Crowd (also known as "that show that's kind of like The Big Bang Theory without all the sucking"). Read More
Truecaller is a caller ID service that gained more attention a while back when Cyanogen Inc. announced it would integrate the service into Cyanogen OS. The company released Truedialer in the past to replace your default dialer, and now it's looking to expand its presence on your phone by integrating those features directly into the Truecaller app. Read More
You probably can't remember the last time you picked up a printed copy of a phonebook from Whitepages. The company still exists, though, and its database of phone numbers will be built into the new Samsung Galaxy S7. Even if you don't have a phone number in your contacts, the GS7 might be able to tell you who's on the other end before you pick up thanks to this feature. Read More
This feature has taken us a long time to confirm, readers - sorry about that. Testing it would have required us to call 9-1-1 for the sole purpose of testing out a neat new tool on a smartphone, and aside from being extremely illegal, none of us wanted to explain to a hard-working emergency dispatcher that we were using a vital service to write up a blog post. And on that note, please, please don't test out this feature on your own Android M preview build. We're only sharing a screenshot sent in to us by a reader which we assume was taken during an actual emergency. Read More