Sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference. In my case, it’s a feature that only just came to my attention on the Samsung Galaxy S7. I don’t know about about you, but I often receive annoying telemarketing calls on my mobile phone, let alone my home phone. Well, it turns out that Samsung has a partnership with Whitepages across Australia, the States and a whole lot of other countries to help filter out unwanted calls, purely on the S7 and S7 Edge at this stage.
How does this work? Once you go to the settings area and find the “Identify unsaved number” (just type that phrase in the search bar in the settings home screen), toggle the selection to “on”. After you agree to the terms, what the phone will do is connect to the Whitepages database and compare the number you have received with its database and show a warning if the number has been flagged by Whitepages.
Since I’ve had this feature on, I’ve had a few phone calls come through that display on the screen as “suspected spam” or “scam fraud”. And I have to say, this has made my unknown phone call pick-up much easier. I’ve chosen to ignore the numbers that come up with this label, and I figure if it’s a genuine phone call, they’ll leave a message. So far none have, so it seems to be showing the veracity of the database that Whitepages is using.
Although there are many apps that can provide this type of call blocking/call management, it’s the first time I’ve seen it baked into the actual operating system of a smartphone – and it works, really well. It takes away that “should I, shouldn’t I” dilemma that I sometimes feel when presented with a phone number I don’t know. There’s a satisfying finality to the decision not to answer without the niggling doubt.
When it comes to technology and predictable product life cycles, iterative design bumps can sometimes be a harbinger of only incremental utility improvements. In this case, the new camera, Micro SD card slot, water resistance and added Edge functionality aren’t the only changes to the new Galaxy flagship model. Dig a bit deeper and you can find little hidden gems like this. I’m sure there’s more, and I’ll back when I find them.
Until next time!