Despite the efforts of legislators and carriers, spam calls are still a problem for most people. Some people do not pick up their phone until it matches someone in their contacts, which can be a problem for legitimate businesses to reach customers quickly. Google’s solution to the problem is verified calls, which are now being implemented on the Google Phone app. At the same time, the company is allowing some devices to download phone apps from the Play Store that did not originally come with it.
The verified calls feature first surfaced in June, when Google published a support article on how verified calls work, but today the company has shared more details in a blog post. When a supported company calls you, the name, logo, reason for calling, and a verified symbol are shown.
“We’ve piloted verified calls for a few months,” Google said, “and early results suggest that it improves the likelihood of someone answering the call. […] A wide range of businesses and institutions are using verified calls during the pilot. For example, calling banks to alert customers about potential fraud may increase answer rates by giving a call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do this to ensure customers are available to receive their delivery. ”
The support page states that verification is only supported for approved businesses that undergo the verification process. The verified call also “does not collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification,” and all business data is transferred over a secure TLS connection. This feature is going live first in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India and later more countries will come.
Google is also making the phone app downloadable from the Play Store, instead of limiting it to devices sending it (such as the Pixel and Nokia devices). Extended support does not appear live yet, as the only phones I can download it are devices that already have the Google Phone app, but Google says that it is limited to a limited set of devices running Android 9 Pie and newer Will start with