We call them smartphones but one of the least frequent things most of us actually do with them is making or even receiving calls. Our devices are loaded with tons of apps but the app that makes the smartphone a phone doesn’t actually get much attention, perhaps except from Google. Google does have a Phone app worth noting and being jealous of and it is finally expanding outside of the small world of Pixel phones. That said, it’s not exactly a dream come true just yet.
What do you need from a phone app anyway? Most apps, even custom ones from OEMs, offer the basics of dialing manually or getting numbers from an address book, viewing logs, blocking numbers, and even recording calls. Google, however, has turned its Phone app into something like Google Search and Google Assistant smashed into one, letting you search for business numbers and also screening calls before you take them.
The latter is partially why some have been wishing that the Google Phone app was available on other Android phones and Google is finally giving them part of their wish. They can now install the Phone app but with the very important requirement of becoming a beta tester for it first. Even then, it isn’t yet confirmed whether it’s compatible with most phones anyway.
But even if you do get the Google Phone app beta installed, you might still feel underwhelmed from the lack of the most-wanted features. Call Screen, for example, is noticeably missing. Presumably, features that depend on other Pixel-exclusive features will be missing as well.
That’s definitely a huge disappointment but hopefully, that won’t stay that way forever. The app is still in beta, after all, and Google might still decide to bring over to other Android phones those key features that make its Phone app even worth mentioning.