Category Archives: Android Blog

News and notes from the Android team

Say hello to safer phone calls

Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach out to new customers and serve existing ones. But here’s the hang-up: customers often don’t answer the call if they don’t recognize the number. They worry it could be spam, or worse, a scam: a 2019 FTC report found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers.

Verified Calls by Google

Verified Calls aims to solve this problem by showing the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating the business has been authenticated by Google. This is done in a secure way—Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices.

Better answer rates

We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call. This in turn helps reduce business costs while identifying relevant calls to people in a trustworthy way. A wide range of businesses and institutions have been using Verified Calls during the pilot. For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. 

Verification increases consumer trust

Based on last year’s launch of Verified SMS, which confirms the identity of the business that’s texting you, we learned that verified communication is valuable to both businesses and consumers. A study in the U.S. and Brazil found that Verified SMS increased consumer trust in brands, which significantly improved performance on metrics like likelihood to purchase, brand satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend.

Getting started

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Brand and channel partners can get more information on our website. We also have existing partners—including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall—ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls. To understand how Verified Calls works, tune in to our special session at Google Cloud Next ‘20 On Air.

Source: Android


Say hello to safer phone calls

Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach out to new customers and serve existing ones. But here’s the hang-up: customers often don’t answer the call if they don’t recognize the number. They worry it could be spam, or worse, a scam: a 2019 FTC report found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers.

Verified Calls by Google

Verified Calls aims to solve this problem by showing the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating the business has been authenticated by Google. This is done in a secure way—Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices.

Better answer rates

We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call. This in turn helps reduce business costs while identifying relevant calls to people in a trustworthy way. A wide range of businesses and institutions have been using Verified Calls during the pilot. For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. 

Verification increases consumer trust

Based on last year’s launch of Verified SMS, which confirms the identity of the business that’s texting you, we learned that verified communication is valuable to both businesses and consumers. A study in the U.S. and Brazil found that Verified SMS increased consumer trust in brands, which significantly improved performance on metrics like likelihood to purchase, brand satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend.

Getting started

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Brand and channel partners can get more information on our website. We also have existing partners—including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall—ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls. To understand how Verified Calls works, tune in to our special session at Google Cloud Next ‘20 On Air.

Source: Android


Say hello to safer phone calls

Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach out to new customers and serve existing ones. But here’s the hang-up: customers often don’t answer the call if they don’t recognize the number. They worry it could be spam, or worse, a scam: a 2019 FTC report found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers.

Verified Calls by Google

Verified Calls aims to solve this problem by showing the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating the business has been authenticated by Google. This is done in a secure way—Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices.

Better answer rates

We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call. This in turn helps reduce business costs while identifying relevant calls to people in a trustworthy way. A wide range of businesses and institutions have been using Verified Calls during the pilot. For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. 

Verification increases consumer trust

Based on last year’s launch of Verified SMS, which confirms the identity of the business that’s texting you, we learned that verified communication is valuable to both businesses and consumers. A study in the U.S. and Brazil found that Verified SMS increased consumer trust in brands, which significantly improved performance on metrics like likelihood to purchase, brand satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend.

Getting started

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Brand and channel partners can get more information on our website. We also have existing partners—including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall—ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls. To understand how Verified Calls works, tune in to our special session at Google Cloud Next ‘20 On Air.

Source: Android


Say hello to safer phone calls

Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach out to new customers and serve existing ones. But here’s the hang-up: customers often don’t answer the call if they don’t recognize the number. They worry it could be spam, or worse, a scam: a 2019 FTC report found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers.

Verified Calls by Google

Verified Calls aims to solve this problem by showing the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating the business has been authenticated by Google. This is done in a secure way—Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices.

Better answer rates

We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call. This in turn helps reduce business costs while identifying relevant calls to people in a trustworthy way. A wide range of businesses and institutions have been using Verified Calls during the pilot. For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. 

Verification increases consumer trust

Based on last year’s launch of Verified SMS, which confirms the identity of the business that’s texting you, we learned that verified communication is valuable to both businesses and consumers. A study in the U.S. and Brazil found that Verified SMS increased consumer trust in brands, which significantly improved performance on metrics like likelihood to purchase, brand satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend.

Getting started

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Brand and channel partners can get more information on our website. We also have existing partners—including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall—ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls. To understand how Verified Calls works, tune in to our special session at Google Cloud Next ‘20 On Air.

Source: Android


Say hello to safer phone calls

Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach out to new customers and serve existing ones. But here’s the hang-up: customers often don’t answer the call if they don’t recognize the number. They worry it could be spam, or worse, a scam: a 2019 FTC report found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers.

Verified Calls by Google

Verified Calls aims to solve this problem by showing the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating the business has been authenticated by Google. This is done in a secure way—Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices.

Better answer rates

We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call. This in turn helps reduce business costs while identifying relevant calls to people in a trustworthy way. A wide range of businesses and institutions have been using Verified Calls during the pilot. For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. 

Verification increases consumer trust

Based on last year’s launch of Verified SMS, which confirms the identity of the business that’s texting you, we learned that verified communication is valuable to both businesses and consumers. A study in the U.S. and Brazil found that Verified SMS increased consumer trust in brands, which significantly improved performance on metrics like likelihood to purchase, brand satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend.

Getting started

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Brand and channel partners can get more information on our website. We also have existing partners—including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall—ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls. To understand how Verified Calls works, tune in to our special session at Google Cloud Next ‘20 On Air.

Source: Android


Say hello to safer phone calls

Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach out to new customers and serve existing ones. But here’s the hang-up: customers often don’t answer the call if they don’t recognize the number. They worry it could be spam, or worse, a scam: a 2019 FTC report found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers.

Verified Calls by Google

Verified Calls aims to solve this problem by showing the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating the business has been authenticated by Google. This is done in a secure way—Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices.

Better answer rates

We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call. This in turn helps reduce business costs while identifying relevant calls to people in a trustworthy way. A wide range of businesses and institutions have been using Verified Calls during the pilot. For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. 

Verification increases consumer trust

Based on last year’s launch of Verified SMS, which confirms the identity of the business that’s texting you, we learned that verified communication is valuable to both businesses and consumers. A study in the U.S. and Brazil found that Verified SMS increased consumer trust in brands, which significantly improved performance on metrics like likelihood to purchase, brand satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend.

Getting started

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Brand and channel partners can get more information on our website. We also have existing partners—including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall—ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls. To understand how Verified Calls works, tune in to our special session at Google Cloud Next ‘20 On Air.

Source: Android


Explore Kids Space: A way to nurture your kid’s curiosity

Parents have told us that they’re constantly wrestling with the role of technology in their children’s lives, and this is especially true for the many families who are spending more time at home. But kids are natural explorers and when they have access to great content, it can be a magical experience--they can read up on their favorite dinosaur, watch videos on how to bake a treat or discover new hobbies.


Family Link was created and built into our core products to give parents the tools they need to stay involved and help manage their child’s online experiences, from setting screen time limits to content safety filters, privacy controls and more. But we’ve heard that parents want more than just parental controls; with so much content out there, they also need help finding things that are enriching and engaging for their kids. To help meet this request, we took a first step with the launch of a new kids tab in Google Play that helps parents easily find and pick “teacher-approved” apps for their kids.


Today, we’re continuing to build upon these efforts with Google Kids Space, a new kids mode on select Android tablets that features apps, books and videos for your kids to explore, learn and have fun.* Kids Space will be available globally on certain Lenovo™ tablets first, including the new Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD Gen 2, and will be coming to more Android tablets soon.†


Designed for nurturing your kid’s curiosity and creativity

Kids Space is designed with your kid at the center of the experience and made for them to become explorers of the things they love. By selecting their interests, your kids will see new and engaging content to read, play and make. Kids can even customize their experience by creating their own character.

Recommended library of free books, apps and videos 

To evaluate and select “teacher-approved” apps in Google Play, we worked with academic experts and children’s education specialists to define rubrics. For Kids Space, we’ve built on that foundation and applied our quality standard to an ever-expanding library of apps and books in the Play and Read tabs. We worked with top publishers to make popular children’s books free of charge, and have over 400 free books available in the U.S. alone. In the Watch and Make tabs, your kids can view creative and fun videos from YouTube Kids that are engaging and encourage off-screen activities. And if you’re looking to customize even more, parents can download additional content from Google Play.

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Access content that’s age-appropriate, thoughtfully designed and fun or inspiring. 

Join us in our journey as we continue to create productive and healthy experiences for kids that adapt to the evolving world and needs of your family.


* Kids Space requires a Google Account for your child. Parental controls require the Family Link app on a supported Android, Chromebook, or iOS device. Books and video content not available in all regions. Video content subject to availability of YouTube Kids app. Books content requires the Play Books app. Availability of apps, books and video content may change without notice.

† Google Assistant not available in Kids Space.

Source: Android


5 new things your Android phone can do

Your Android phone should get better and more helpful over time, even while you wait for the latest OS update to arrive. Like the recently announced Nearby Share that supports devices going back to Android 6.0, we’re building new features that improve the experience of billions of devices around the world. Today, we’re introducing five new features to your Android phone for added safety, restful sleep and more. 

1. Save precious seconds during an emergency

Your Android phone can’t put out a fire, but it can provide help sooner with Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) now available to over 800 million people across 29 countries. Since launching ELS in 2016, we’ve worked with local public safety officials to shorten emergency response times around the world by improving access to accurate location information.

Now, your Android phone can share your device language setting when you dial your local emergency number wherever ELS is available. So if you don’t speak the local language, emergency operators can get the appropriate translator sooner and send you the help you need.

Android ELS is available on devices running Android 4.1 and above with Google Play Services installed.

2. Get alerted to earthquakes around you

Android phones around the world can now detect earthquakes with the Android Earthquake Alerts System, creating the world’s largest earthquake detection network. To start, this will lead to faster, more accurate earthquake information when you look up “earthquake near me” on Google Search. 


The Android Earthquake Alerts System will be available on devices running Android 5.0 and above. And if you are in California, you will now receive earthquake alerts powered by ShakeAlert® directly on your Android phone. 

3. Get more done in the car

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When driving, your safety is dependent on keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. With new updates to Android Auto, you can stay on top of your day without having to glance at your phone. 


Get a quick look into your daily schedule on your car display with the new calendar app. With a few taps from a calendar event, get directions to the bakery where you ordered that birthday cake or make a quick phone call to tell them you'll be arriving soon. 


And with the new settings app, you can manage your Android Auto preferences directly on your car display.

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4. Rest easy, without interruptions

Remember that time when checking one notification turned into staying up an hour past your bedtime? We bet you weren’t too happy. So we created Bedtime mode to remind you when it’s time for bed and limit interruptions by keeping your phone dark and quiet while you sleep. 


Now with the addition of the Bedtime tab in Clock, you can maintain a consistent sleep schedule, track your screen time at night, and fall asleep to soothing sounds from Calm, Spotify, YouTube Music and more. And if you dread feeling startled by your alarm, you can wake up more gently with visual cues from the Sunrise Alarm and your favorite sounds or song.  


The Bedtime tab in the Clock app is now available for devices running Android 6.0 and above. For devices with Digital Wellbeing installed, turn on Bedtime mode in your settings or schedule it directly from the Clock app.

5. Lookout makes the physical world more accessible

We’re bringing new features to Lookout, an app that uses computer vision to help people who are blind or low-vision get things done faster and more easily. Built with and for the blind and low-vision community, this update debuts two new modes and a more accessible design. Now Lookout can scan long form documents into readable text, identify products from their food labels, and is even more compatible with screen readers. It also includes expansion to new languages and phones, automatic flash, and more. 

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Download Lookout on Google Play today, available for all devices with more than 2GB of RAM running Android 6.0 and later.

Source: Android


Use Lookout to take care of daily tasks faster

Everyone has a routine to their day, from pulling out ingredients to cook a meal, sorting through their mail, or perusing through documents. To help people who are blind or low-vision complete these daily tasks faster and more easily, we’re introducing updates to Lookout on Android: new modes, a more accessible design, and expansion to even more Android devices. 


Lookout now has two new modes: Food Label and Scan Document. With Food Label, you can quickly identify packaged foods by pointing your phone’s camera at the label. Lookout will guide you to position the food product so that it can be properly identified through its packaging or barcode. This can be particularly helpful if you’re putting away groceries and want to make sure you’re handling the right items that might feel the same to your touch. For example, Food Label would be able to distinguish between a can of corn and a can of green beans.

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Use Food Label to identify different food products.

Scan Document makes it easier to go through letters and mail. Use Lookout to take a snapshot of a document, and it will capture the entire document’s content in detail so that it can be read aloud by your screen reader.

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Use Scan Document to read long-form documents.

Based on feedback from the blind and low-vision community, we’re introducing an accessible design that is even more compatible with TalkBack, our Android screen reader. This includes making more space for the camera view, which makes it easier to frame the object you want more information about. In addition, we’ve changed navigation between modes to require fewer taps and less time by making it possible to scroll between them at the bottom of the screen. 


With this update, Lookout will be available on all devices with more than 2GB of RAM running Android 6.0 and later. Lookout also now works in French, Italian, German and Spanish. Expanding this app to more people and devices is part of our commitment to make the world's information universally accessible and to build helpful products with and for people with disabilities.


Download Lookout today on Google Play.

Source: Android


Earthquake detection and early alerts, now on your Android phone

Earthquakes happen daily around the world, with hundreds of millions of people living in earthquake prone regions.  An early warning can help people prepare for shaking, but the public infrastructure to detect and alert everyone about an earthquake is costly to build and deploy.  We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed.  

Sending earthquake alerts to Android devices in California

First, we collaborated with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to send earthquake alerts, powered by ShakeAlert®, directly to Android devices in California. 


Developed by the nation’s leading seismologists, the ShakeAlert system uses signals from more than 700 seismometers installed across the state by USGS, Cal OES, University of California Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology. A few seconds of warning can make a difference in giving you time to drop, cover, and hold on before the shaking arrives.


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Building the world’s largest earthquake detection network 

Installing a ground network of seismometers, as California has done, may not be feasible in all impacted areas around the world. So we’re using the reach of Android’s platform to help detect earthquakes.  


Starting today, your Android phone can be part of the Android Earthquake Alerts System, wherever you live in the world. This means your Android phone can be a mini seismometer, joining millions of other Android phones out there to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network. 


All smartphones come with tiny accelerometers that can sense signals that indicate an earthquake might be happening. If the phone detects something that it thinks may be an earthquake, it sends a signal to our earthquake detection server, along with a coarse location of where the shaking occurred. The server then combines information from many phones to figure out if an earthquake is happening. We’re essentially racing the speed of light (which is roughly the speed at which signals from a phone travel) against the speed of an earthquake. And lucky for us, the speed of light is much faster! 


To start, we’ll use this technology to share a fast, accurate view of the impacted area on Google Search. When you look up “earthquake” or “earthquake near me,” you’ll find relevant results for your area, along with helpful resources on what to do after an earthquake. 

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We’ve worked with globally-renowned seismology and disaster experts Dr. Richard Allen, Dr. Qingkai Kong and Dr. Lucy Jones to develop this crowdsourced approach for detecting earthquakes all around the world.


You might be wondering, “what’s next?” We’re starting with earthquake alerts in California since there’s already a great seismometer-based system in place. Over the coming year, you can expect to see the earthquake alerts coming to more states and countries using Android’s phone-based earthquake detection. 


Source: Android