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The Google Phone app on Android helps eliminate unwanted calls. Here’s what you need to know



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Verified calls are distributed to more devices, but may take several weeks.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Android users will soon have another tool to help in fight against robocalls and spam calls. Last week, Google announced that the company’s phone app will add a new feature for confirmed calls to let you know not only what business is calling you, but also why they call. The knowledge that an unknown number is indeed one that is claimed to have been created to help you avoid the common schemes of fraudsters posing as legitimate businesses to deceive you about sensitive information or money.

Google’s move is the latest experience in the entire federal government industry and private technology companies, including T-Mobile,, Apple and the cohort of wireless operators to reduce the automated, unsolicited and fraudulent calls that people receive on their phones, some of which are established consumer protection laws. In 2019, robocalls reached a record 58.5 billion, according to YouMail, a company that provides blocking services.

Verified calls complement Google’s earlier attempt to stop calling robots from call screening feature which relies on Google Assistant to help identify calls. Below we will show you what we know about this new feature for confirmed calls and how to get it.

What are verified calls for Google Phone?

Advanced version of the caller ID, the function checks whether the call really originates from a participating business. When you receive an incoming call from a verified business, you will see the company name, logo, confirmation badge, and the reason the company makes the call – as long as the business provides it.

For example, a restaurant delivery service may tell you that the driver has been lost or that your delivery has arrived. Or the call screen may explain that your airline should warn you of a change in flight time. Maybe your bank is calling to confirm a large purchase or to signal a potential fraud. Seeing these reasons is designed to give you confidence in the legitimacy of the caller.

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An example of what an incoming call will look like with confirmed Google calls.

Google

How to get the Google Phone app and how to set it up

Not all Android phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, use the Google Phone app out of the box and choose their own number instead. To take advantage of the new feature for confirmed calls, you’ll need to download Google Phone and set it as your default dialer. If you are not prompted to change the default settings the first time you open the application, you will need to log in. Applications in the settings application and select it as default.

Some phone manufacturers, such as Google and OnePlus, use the Google app in a non-standard way, while others do not. Here’s the easiest way to find out if your phone uses Google Phone Dialing.

  • If you do not have a Google Phone, the button will show Install. Click on it to start the download and install the application. You may need to enter the application settings and do so by default.
  • If you see a message that the app is not compatible with your device, keep checking. The Phone app will be available on devices running Android 9.0 Pie or later. Google did not provide me with a list of supported devices, but said it would be available on “many Samsung and LG flagship devices.” It launches slowly again, so if you don’t see the app available right now, try again every few days.

After installing the Phone application on your device, you will need to open it and press the menu button in the upper right corner, select Settings > Caller ID and spam and turn on Verified calls. Then, the next time a participating business calls you, you’ll see caller ID information on your screen.

It’s also a good idea to double-check that your phone number has been added to your Google Account. On your Android device, open the Settings app and go to Google > Data and messages > Phone on the device number and check that your phone number is listed. If not, you will need to add it by tapping the link below the empty text box.

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Instead of having to find out who’s calling, this new feature tells you who and why.

Angela Lang / CNET

Where will verified calls work?

Verified calls will work in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India to begin. Google will add more countries in the future.

There are still many things we don’t know about confirmed calls, but rest assured that we’ll start testing it as soon as possible by updating this post in the process. If you want extra help removing robocalls, we have a few steps you can take. The carriers are too working together on technology that should help reduce spam calls and make features like confirmed calls more common. If you are a T-Mobile customer, make sure you take advantage of Scam Shield.


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