Google releases Android stock "Phone" and "Contacts" apps

Both the Contacts app and the Phone app from the most base version of Android have been released to the Google Play app store. While only devices that already have these apps can upgrade to the newest version, this IS a great sign from Google that their entire home-made universe of software will become available to the general public, not just Nexus smartphones. This is yet another side-step of Android manufacturer preferences, as it were.

Should the manufacturer of the smartphone you purchase have direct control over the apps you do or do not install? That's only part of the situation here, as Google continues to release apps they'd normally only send to users via system updates. Out in wild, in the Google Play app store, Google can more effectively deliver updates for each app as they need.

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This allows users to choose whether they use the equivalent apps provided by their smartphone out of the box or Google's, where before it was just a choice between their manufacturer-made apps or those made by other 3rd-party developers.

Both the Phone and Contacts apps are already up to date on Nexus devices – those that run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, at least.

If you head to the APK Mirror for "Phone" or the APK Mirror for "Contacts", both courtesy of Android Police, you'll find the apps available for download, albeit for Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices only.

UPDATE: An alternate to Google Phone is Android Dialer – just the dialer bit. You can find this at APK Mirror for "Dialer" as well as on the Google Play app store – just so long as your device is able to see it.

Loading these apps to devices other than Google's collection of newest Nexus smartphones and tablets will result in a force-closing app and/or an error. For now. Updates almost certainly coming soon.