Back in April, Google's popular Phone app expanded its device support on the Play Store. Previously tied to Pixel and Android One devices, Google appeared to be opening it up for use on other devices and software. At the time, it still didn't work for lots of phones, including OnePlus and Samsung devices. But apparently, that's changed, and we can confirm you can now install the latest Google Phone app Beta from the Play Store on Samsung and OnePlus phones — and probably more, too.

 

Google Phone app installed from the Play Store and running on a Galaxy Fold and OnePlus 8.

We haven't tested every device out there, but it appears that Google substantially opened up the phones its app is compatible with in the latest Beta release. If it's not every phone, it's damn close. On our Google accounts, we spotted the S20 Ultra, Z Flip, OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 7T, and OnePlus 6T, among a larger list of devices that advertise themselves as compatible:

Anything that isn't a Chromebook, Android TV, or watch, basically. 

There are two small caveats, though. For whatever reason, the Phone app won't easily surface on the Play Store's in-app search. You'll have to navigate to it manually from another source like Google search, this link, or the app widget at the bottom of our article. Furthermore, the expansion in device compatibility appears to only be tied to the beta program (which you can enroll in here), though based on reader reports, it may also be limited to certain markets. While we originally thought the change was universal to the app listing, it appears to be limited to the opt-in beta program.

We don't know if Google removed the shared library requirement the app used to have, or if it's started bundling that library in with Play Services, or something else. Whatever the cause, the effect is clear: Almost any phone can use it now.

While the app should work once set as default for sending calls, receiving them may be a crapshoot, and will depend on the phone in question. Furthermore, you can't expect to get all the same snazzy features Google's Phone app may have on other phones, like Call Screen. (That's a bummer, because it's an amazing feature, and almost reason enough to buy a Pixel by itself with how terrible spam calls are these days.) Still, if you're among those that prefer Google's software design to whatever your phone shipped with, you can now easily pull Google's Phone app down from the Play Store.

We've reached out to Google for more information, like if there's a schedule for when this expanded compatibility for the beta program's Play Store listing will percolate down to stable, and we'll be sure to update if we hear anything back.

Beta program

Although we originally thought the change was associated with the Play Store's app listing, it looks like it's actually tied to the beta program, which seems to have its own device compatibility list on the Play Store, separate from the stable version. Our coverage has been updated.

  • Thanks:
  • Matthew