Who’s Calling? Android App Promises True Caller ID

There have been more times than I can count where I've gotten a phone call and have had no clue who might be calling from the number alone. Mobile developer First Orion aims to change that with the release of an Android version of its app called PrivacyStar. For the first time on a mobile phone, true caller ID would be available. No more guessing who's on the other end of the line.

PrivacyStar does more than just tell you whose calling - it will also allow for unlimited call blocking and the ability to report violators of the US and Canada's Do Not Call lists directly to the proper authorities. In other words, it gives much more control over the calls you receive.

These blocking features were central to PrivacyStar when it first launched its application for BlackBerry smartphones last year. That version also did have some rudimentary Caller ID functions, but they were only available through the call log after the call completed, which was somewhat useless.

Users of the application will also gain access to a web portal where they can manage their block lists and review call logs. While the application itself is free, users will have to pay a $2.99 monthly fee to continue service after a seven day free trial period.

It looks like such functionality will be hard pressed to make it to the iOS platform given that Apple would have to open more of the platform up to developers to enable it. Right now, apps have very little access to actually modify standard functionality of the device, whereas Google has opened much more of its Android platform to modification.

It was not immediately clear whether or not this live caller ID functionality would also appear in the BlackBerry app. We have a request out to their reps to clarify this point and will report back.

Could a version for iPhone be developed for those who have jailbroken their phones? Of course, but then it would also limit the marketability of the product. It's a shame - to me this is one of those "duh" apps: something that is so obviously useful it's kind of shocking that nobody's thought of it yet.

Think about it - we already pay $5 or so on a landline for caller ID, so whats the difference of paying an extra few bucks a month on the mobile phone for the same functionality, and above that the ability to block calls. Almost no provider offers that, and if they do, it's costly.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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