WhitePages Makes a Social Splash with Android Caller ID
Remember how Android users had to wait and wait for the cool apps to appear? Things have changed. WhitePages has just released its free Current caller ID app, available only on Android (Google Play). While that’s partly because Apple won’t allow access to the iPhone call log, the fact is that it makes more sense to launch with Android, anyway. “There were four Android phones for every iPhone shipped in the second quarter,” the Mercury News quotes research firm IDC saying.
A year ago, it was 2.5 Android phones to every iPhone. All by itself, Samsung shipped twice as many Android phones as Apple did iPhones last quarter, notes the Mercury News.
WhitePages does have an iPhone app that lets you do some of the things, manually, that Current does automatically. But it’s on Android that the app is fully integrated, so that it supplements the native Android call screen with relevant information. The result has been called “the future of smartphone calling” (VentureBeat), “ the ultimate app for chit-chat” (GeekWire), and “caller ID for the mobile and social era” (Fast Company).
The free caller ID functionality comes from WhitePages’ database of the phone numbers of some 200 million U.S. adults, plus businesses. Knowing who’s calling from that commercial number–a telemarketer, or a receptionist in your doctor’s office–is a big help in deciding whether to take that call.
Does it go without saying that your number will go into WhitePages’ database, too?
[UPDATE: It does not go without saying. Cognizant of privacy concerns, WhitePages builds its database with publicly available information, and by purchasing contact information from marketing sources. You can, of course, give them your information, which allows you to "claim" your profile.]
If and when you allow the app access to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, it can start to fill you in on what’s new about the people calling you, or whom you’re about to call. It even provides you with the weather “over there.” (WhitePages matches data in its database with that in your social networks to make sure that their “John Smith” is your “John Smith.”) Some early users are complaining that the app balks at higher security 2-stage logins.
For people who like or need to keep track of such things, Current also provides you with charts and graphs detailing your communications habits. Besides compiling your most frequent callers and texters (on native apps–if you Skype or third-party text that won’t show up yet), you can see things like what time of day you’re most likely to take or make calls, or when you get the most texts.