Google’s Phone app will soon let you look up unknown numbers


You have a missed call, but it’s not from one of your contacts, just a random number. Before deciding whether to call back, wouldn’t you want to know exactly who called? That’s the idea behind services like Truecaller, and now Google seems to be wanting to join the ‘unknown number lookup’ game inside its Phone app.

An option to do just that, labeled as “Lookup” under numbers from your call log that aren’t in your contacts, has been spotted in the Google Phone app beta version 127.0.620688474.

Google's Phone app will soon let you lookup unknown numbers

When you tap on “Lookup”, you get a list of apps on your device that can handle the ‘Web search’ intent, of which the Google app is one. If you pick the Google app, then it will do a Google search for the number in question, which is of course something you’ve always been able to do manually by copying the number from your call log and pasting it into Google search.

So the intention here seems to be to allow you to quickly identify businesses that have their contact details indexed by Google, which may have called you. The usefulness of this feature is thus impaired since it won’t be able to identify private individuals. So, apps like Truecaller will definitely not be killed by the launch of this new feature.

Then again, Truecaller and the likes could even in theory integrate themselves into this system, letting you perform a lookup in their databases once you hit that “Lookup” button, adding an extra tiny bit of convenience.

This has apparently been live in Japan since March, and could arrive globally in June.


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