Google Phone 15 Brings Quality Of Life Improvements To Android

The latest version of Google's Phone app debuts a wide variety of quality of life improvements, seeking to make the mobile service as intuitive as possible. The build 15 started rolling out on the Google Play Store earlier this month and should already be available for download in all parts of the world, so long as you own a compatible smartphone. One of the new additions comes in the form of "Assisted Dialing" that will automatically insert country codes into any phone number you input or try to call while abroad. The functionality is located near the bottom of the app's Settings menu, sandwiched between Accessibility and Caller ID & Spam options. Google didn't elaborate on its exact mechanics, though it's likely that the feature simply uses the cellular info received by the smartphone to determine whether you're located in your home country and what's your current location if you aren't. Apart from disabling the functionality, its dedicated settings page allows you to manually select your home country or leave the service to do so automatically.

Owners of the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 devices running Android 8.1 Oreo are now also receiving a light navigation bar with the new version of the app. As was the case with the company's other apps that received such a minor redesign, the new navigational buttons are meant to minimize the chances of image retention and screen burn-in. Apart from Google's Android flagships, the firm's Phone app is also available for a number of Nexus-branded devices and those launched as part of the Android One initiative.

While the light navigation bar is exclusive to the Pixel phones, a new system for detecting and managing duplicate contacts is rolling out to all handsets and will be automatically activated the next time you end up in the "Contacts" section of the Android app. You'll be notified about duplicate contacts via a pop-up window, should the service detect any. The notification will provide you with two responses - "Dismiss" and "Clean Up," with the latter bringing you to another interface where you'll be able to merge your contacts. It's currently unclear how long will the app take to serve the same alert again if you dismiss it. Refer to the banner below to download the latest build of Google's Phone app.

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