The most recent Android 4.4 update includes caller ID by Google, which searches Google Places and Google+ to identify each incoming call with its source. So no more call screening necessary. If your local mechanic is calling to notify you that your car repair is finished, their name will populate with the number (assuming they have their business listed completed) as you receive the incoming call.
It also improves the search function within the phone’s dialer platform. Instead of doing a separate Google search to retrieve the number for your favorite local Chinese delivery, you can conduct the search within your phone’s dialer. How awesome is that!? It saves you that extra step, and you’re that much closer to delicious Kung Pao chicken at your doorstep.
For the multifamily housing industry, this is yet another reason to focus on optimizing your Google Places and Plus pages. You’ll improve your reach by improving your visibility—When potential residents get a call from your leasing office, for instance, they’ll know it’s you and not just some unknown stranger. Does added the transparency improve occupancy? It can’t hurt.
And for anyone concerned about having their personal phone number listed on what is now the world’s largest caller ID directory, rest assured you’re not forced to participate. You can simply opt-out of Google’s caller ID indexing by going to Google.com/settings/phone. Uncheck the box and it will remain “unknown”, at least to Google caller ID.
As a consumer, I’m excited for the update and looking forward to an improved experience with identifying my incoming calls, with minimal effort on my part. It’s going to cut-down the amount of missed calls I receive due to unknown numbers. I guess I could also just answer the phone, but let’s be honest, that isn’t going to happen.