When Android 4.4 KitKat was officially introduced last week on the newest Google smartphone, the Nexus 5, we were amazed at the little "gems" we found in KitKat, and are still discovering. Google really refined their operating system with this newest release and concentrated on adding features that developers could use to make their job easier, features that would help conserve battery drain, and features that developers could take and use in future app development. One of these "gems' that we touched on slightly in an article last week, Caller ID, we thought we would take a closer look at today.
The phone dialer is an area of the smartphone that has completely been ignored as far as I am concerned. Screens keep getting larger and can contain more information and larger contact photos – so bring them on – above is what my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 brings up when I press the Phone icon…pretty boring stuff. Up to now, we had to rely on third party applications to help make our phone dialer more useful – well Android 4.4 KitKat has added a Caller ID feature built right in. No more paying your carrier $3 a month for Caller ID, or paying for a third party app…Google Maps/Places will do it for you in Android 4.4 KitKat.
The new Android 4.4 KitKat improves the Phone app in a couple ways – for one it offers better searches. Even if the number is not in your contact list, the new dialer will search nearby places or even your Google Apps accounts, for instance, if your company's directory is shared, just start typing from within your dialer and results will show up, as shown above.
Another great feature is Caller ID by Google – screening your calls just got a lot easier even if you don't have the number saved in your contacts.
- Business – Google will match the number against names of companies and services within Google Place listings.
- Google Apps – Never worry about missing an important call from work again, as Google will search your Google Apps domain to see if it can find the caller.
- People – Starting in early 2014, users that have verified their phone number and have discovery turned on, will have their Google Profile Photos displayed.
Google has also refreshed the entire look and feel of the Phone app, and it will even remember who you call the most and have them "front and center" to make it quicker easier to call them. Let us know in the comments or on Google+ what you think about the new Phone app in Android 4.4 KitKat – it just gets better and better.