Spam calls are the last thing you want to receive on a busy day. We all have times when we’re extremely busy or waiting for an important call from someone and it annoys us when we answer the call expecting it to be THE call, only to find out that the guy on the other end wants that you sign up for a credit card. As annoying as they can be, there are many ways to prevent or even prevent them from bothering you on both counts Android and iOS. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Android side of things and list the methods you can use to stop and block spam calls on Android.
Block spam calls using the built-in phone dialer
If you’re using an Android device, chances are you’re using Google’s Phone and Messages apps. For those who don’t know, both Google Messages and Phone have built-in spam detectors and blockers, making it easier for users to avoid spam calls and messages. Here’s how to enable spam detection and blocking on Google Phone in Android:
1. Open Google phonetap the three dots in the top right corner and tap Settings.
2. Under the “ASSISTIVE” section, tap Caller ID and Spam.
3. Enable the View Caller and Spam ID option. This identifies companies using Google’s business network database and shows whether a number is spam or junk.
4. Similarly, turning on the Filter Spam Call option will prevent “suspected” spam callers from disturbing you.
While both are great options, it might be better not to enable the Filter Spam Calls option, especially if you live in the subcontinent. This is because the spam caller list in India is not filtered very well, which means that most unknown numbers, including Amazon delivery numbers, are labeled as spam and cannot reach you. You can also block spam numbers manually by following these steps:
1. Open the Phone app and long press on a number you want to block.
2. Tap Block.
3. Tap Block again. This prevents the blocked number from spamming calls or text messages to your number.
4. If you accidentally blocked someone, go to Settings > Blocked numbers > Delete the number you have blocked.
Block spam calls with Google Assistant
For those blessed in the US and a few other countries with access to Assistant Call Screening, blocking spam calls becomes very easy. For those who don’t know, Assistant Call Screening is a feature that Google released during the launch of Pixel 6 and as the name suggests, when enabled, you can have Assistant take and reject calls if it’s a scammer. You can also set it to automatically reject Robocalls, making it one of the best built-in solutions to tackle spam calls on Android. To enable the same:
1. Launch the Google Phone app and tap the three dots in the top right corner.
2. Then tap Settings and go to Spam & Call Screen.
3. Tap Call Screening and enable the desired options.
4. Tap Spam and select ‘Automatically screen. Reject Robocalls.”
As mentioned earlier, Assistant Call Screen is only available available in 10 regions as of the writing of this article. The list of countries has not grown since the feature was released. Call screening is easily one of the best selling points of Pixels and yet it’s not available in many countries where Google officially sells Pixels, which is a shame.
If you are using a Samsung device with One UI 5.0, you can use the Bixby Call and Chat feature, which is similar to Call Screening. However, unlike Call Screening, Bixby does not automatically reject a spammer because it does not recognize them.
Block spam calls with third-party apps
There are several third-party apps available on the PlayStore that can help you prevent and block spam calls on Android. One of the first things that probably comes to mind when we say Caller ID is Truecaller and you may know that it also blocks and flags spam calls. Truecaller is a great app, but if you have trust issues with this (as the company has denied a breach that leaked numbers of 4.75 crore Indians in 2020), we will also mention other free alternatives.
Truecaller (free, to download) is one of the oldest players on the market and keeps getting better. Its spam detection is one of the best as it is also one of the most used apps in the subcontinent and around the world. It obviously has more data to work within its database. The app also offers additional features such as ‘Who searched for me’, Truecaller Assistant, Voicemail and custom greeting in the premium version.
One of the caveats with the app is that you have to set it as the default dialer app to automatically block spam calls, which, if you like your current dialer, could be a dealbreaker. However, it does display the caller ID when you receive a call without you having to set it as the default. Overall, it is one of the best spam prevention and call blocking apps on Android.
Should I answer?
While I must answer (free, to download) is not the most comprehensive spam detector out there, but it works quite well. For starters, it provides information about the number on the calling screen, just like Truecaller, and also has an option to automatically reject spam numbers reported by the community. It has a database, but we found that it is not that extensive, at least in the subcontinent, probably because not many people here know about it. During our use, the app was able to block 5/10 spam calls, which is respectable.
It is easy to set up and has a mediocre user interface. However, it hasn’t been updated since June and that makes us a little worried that the app developers have abandoned the project. However, if you are looking for a Truecaller alternative, consider installing Should I Answer.
Other Honorable mentions: