PayFast has launched its annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday live spending tracker, with the dashboard showing that someone has already spent over R100…
Well, that’s another level of caller ID. In a move which is equal parts cool and creepy, Google has announced that it will be linking your phone number to your Google Plus profile so that Android users can see your face and name when you call them.
In a Google+ post, Android software engineer Attila Bodis elaborated on a new feature which will be headed to users of Android 4.4 (KitKat) early next year: caller ID by Google. Bodis explained that the update would allow Android users to catch a glimpse of who is phoning them (whether or not they’ve got their number or added them on Google+) by showing them the profile photo and specified name of Google users who have phone number discovery turned on.
If you’ve verified your phone number (by, for example, using it as a back up contact method for your email account or if you’ve enabled two-factor authentication) and left that little box in your account settings ticked (it’s on by default), your face could be pushed to an Android phone in a few months. On the plus side, if you’re an Android user, you’ll now have a whole new way to screen your calls.
Google is also planning on rolling out its caller ID functionality to Google Apps accounts and businesses on Google Places. For example, if someone phones you from an organisation which has listed its number on Google Places, you’ll be able to see who is calling you. The ability also extends into your contact list — for example, if your company uses a Google Apps account, you can search your phone book for the contact number of your colleagues’ who have linked their number with that account, even if you haven’t added them to your contacts.
The move has raised some privacy concerns, especially as users may not remember their phone number is linked to their Google account or know their details may appear on the phones of people they are trying to contact. While the update to Android does offer benefits to users who are plagued by calls from unknown numbers, those who would like to keep their names and faces to themselves can opt out ahead of the roll out.