Google announced Tuesday it was rolling out an update to the Google Phone app on Nexus and Android One devices that will allow users to screen potential spam callers. The new feature will also allow users to not just block such numbers but also report them to Google as spam.
In a Nexus Google+ post, the Alphabet company said its spam protection will “warn you about potential spam callers and give you the ability to block and report these numbers. If you already have Caller ID turned on, spam protection will be available on your phone once your app updates to the latest version.”
The feature will work with both incoming and outgoing calls, but will require information about your calls to be sent to Google. Instructions to enable the feature are provided on a support page, but apply only to Android 6.0 and higher. You must have caller ID turned on for the feature to work.
The way the feature works suggests Google will analyze information provided by users to mark certain numbers as spam. This sort of crowd-sourcing caller information is already used by Truecaller, a European startup, that lets users view the identity of callers who are not in their contact lists. According to Phone Arena, however, Google is likely also using a preexisting list of spam numbers based on Google Voice, which has used spam filtering for years.
The update will roll out to all compatible devices over the next few days.