While all Android devices have caller ID baked in, it’s usually pretty basic stuff. The ID shows the number that’s calling. If it’s in your contacts, it also gives you a name. That’s about it.
Luckily, there are several apps out there on Google Play that take the Caller ID to the next level and greatly expanding its features by adding social information, directory listings and so much more.
Unfortunately, quite a few of these apps are actually pretty awful. The good news is that there a few gems that are a cut above the rest.
Cool Tip: Looking for a way to block calls received on your Android device? We have a guide for that!
(Note: While I did get a chance to play with all three directly, the screenshots are directly from the app creators to protect the identities and information of those in my contacts)
Without further ado, let’s jump in and take a look at the 3 best caller ID apps available for Android:
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Easily one of the best caller ID apps available, Contactive is designed to supercharge your calling experience by using your social networks, the web, your email and other sources of information to give you more accurate information about who is calling you – and why.
No longer will you be plagued by that random unidentified number, as Contactive’s global directory lists millions of businesses and other publicly available numbers. That means when the cable company is calling, you’ll know. When it’s a telemarketer? You’ll know that, too.
Beyond acting as a Caller ID, Contactive also uses the information you provide it (Twitter/Facebook/G+/Email) to create a detailed contact list that updates as the information from these resources are changed. In other words, you’ll never have the ‘old’ number in your contacts again.
Another cool feature of Contactive is that when someone calls, you will be given what Contactive calls a cheat sheet of information about people you know (based on social network updates). This should help you know what’s going on in that contact’s life, and could even help you add to the conversation.
Best of all, Contactive is totally free and using it is as easy as signing in with your G-Plus or Facebook account. There’s also a regular sign up button, which likely just uses your email address instead.
While I personally found Contactive’s UI to be more attractive, TrueCaller is a worthy alternative in many ways.
First, it has a massive directory which is claims has over 950 million numbers gathered worldwide. This means that many major businesses and even telemarketing services should be listed here. For those of us that always carry our smartphones with us no matter where we are – it’s nice to have a little bit more background on who is actually calling us.
Like Contactive, TrueCaller goes beyond just providing you with a nifty caller ID that expands on the Android default. It also can connect to Facebook and other major social networks, taking all your contacts and putting them in one place.
Another unique feature with TrueCaller is the ability to send a “tweet” while on the phone. This might not be useful for everyone, but could be handy for Twitter addicts.
Probably the best feature for TrueCaller though is that it acts as a massive phonebook not just for identifying incoming calls, but also for when you need to make a call. You can simply search for a company and a number will come up.
In reality, not all businesses are listed, and not all numbers are accurate, but this is still a pretty handy feature.
3. Current Caller ID
Last, but certainly not least, we have Current Caller ID. Unlike the first two, this app is actually made by a major directory business – WhitePages. This means that the app has full access to the WhitePage directory of over 300 million numbers and growing.
Like the others before it, Current Caller ID also gathers up tons of other useful data from your social networks in order to help gather up your contracts and even show recent Facebook/Twitter status updates.
Current Caller ID’s feature set is nearly the same as what we already covered, with one distinction: it adds news and weather information that are local to the person talking to you.
My first thought is that this is a useless feature. Thinking on it a bit more, there are some use case scenarios here. The most obvious one for weather would be if you plan on visiting that person later that day, and they live a few hours away.
Having access to a bit of weather info could certainly help here. The news part? Okay, I’m a bit stumped about why we’d need to know that, but it’s still kinda cool.
Another interesting feature for Current Caller ID is the optional ability to get text messages every so often that summarize your calling and texting stats. Not particularly necessary once again, but it’s still a neat gimmick.
All three apps end up largely doing the same thing: giving you a more advanced caller ID that also has a few extra social features baked in.
Which one is truly the best? That largely comes down to personal preference, though during my testing, I found that I liked Contactive and Current Caller ID a bit better than True Caller – but it was really a close tie between all three.
Which caller ID app do you prefer? Know a good caller ID app that wasn’t mentioned here? Let us know about it in the comments below!