Even though we don't generally use our phones for calling as much these days, the actual phone part of your phone is still important. Google has long worked to make phone calls less annoying with features like automatic call screening and spam detection. Now, it looks like a new Verified Calls feature is rolling out to help consumers know why a business is calling them before they pick up.
According to Google's support page, Verified Calls is a feature that helps users learn more about incoming calls before answering. Unlike call screening, which can be initiated by the user on any incoming call, Verified Calls only come from businesses that have gone through Google's approval process. When a call that meets the criteria is placed from an approved business, the user will see the business name and logo, as well as the reason for the call.
Verified Calls require the business to send call information to a secure Google server. That server then pushes the info to the Google phone app on your device. When the actual call is placed, the app checks the caller's info against that stored data in order to verify the call is indeed coming from the business. If everything's legit, the Phone app displays the call as being Verified, and presents the helpful info provided by the business. A few minutes after receiving the call, the information is deleted from Google's server. Verified Calls will be turned on by default, but there should be a setting to opt-out in the Phone app. Although, it doesn't seem to be showing up yet.
Receiving an unknown incoming call can cause anxiety, and features like this help to alleviate some of that pressure. If you know who's calling and why, you're able to make an informed decision on if you want to pick up the call, and how you'll greet the caller when you answer. It sounds like a unique improvement to the calling experience that could prove useful if enough businesses actually take advantage of it. We haven't been able to test the feature yet, but the live support page suggests you could start getting verified calls any time now.