Automated spam and robocalls calls are on the rise and they are definitely annoyances smartphone owners could live without. It is such a big deal now that even the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been sending letters to the CEOs of phone companies to offer free call blocking with their services.
Google is taking this challenge seriously and they will now add built-in spam call protection to Nexus and Android One phones. An update to the stock phone app of these devices is being rolled out to enable this new feature.
In this update, Nexus and Android One users with Caller ID enabled will get a warning if a suspected spam or robo call is received.
Aside from ignoring the call, the user then has the option to either block the number or whitelist it if the spam flagging is deemed an error. Any blocked number can be unblocked at anytime. An option to report the call to Google is also available.
This will definitely be a big help in the fight against these unscrupulous calls but it will be exclusive to Google partnered Nexus and Android One handsets for now.
Other Android smartphone owners will have to rely on vendor installed spam protection, like the one offered with the Samsung Galaxy S7, or third-party apps such as TrueCaller or Nomorobo.
Even then, to totally eradicate unsolicited calls, spam call flagging may not be enough. We reported recently about how fraudsters are using software to spoof and impersonate Caller IDs to pretend they are coming from a legitimate or familiar source. Spam call protection will not catch these spoofed numbers and the users' utmost vigilance is still required when receiving any phone call.
If you have a Nexus or Android One device and you don't have the update yet, you could visit the Google Phone app page in the Google Play Store to install it now.
For more details about this new feature and instructions on how to enable spam protection, visit Google's Nexus support page.