Android Will Show You Google+ Photos For Incoming Calls Beginning In 2014

Google is making Android’s dialer smarter, and it already talked about KitKat features that add automatic caller ID for businesses that Google has in its places database. Early next year, the basic phone dialing app will also pull in your Google+ profile pic to show a call recipient via caller ID, according to Android Central. It’s an option that’s on by default, too, so long as you’ve verified your phone number through your Google account.

Users who want to hide their image can pre-emptively disable access by going to their Google+ profile, clicking the image of your profile picture in the top right corner, hitting the “Account” link, and then navigating to the “Phone numbers” subsection. Click “View” and then Google provides an option to check a box for each phone number you have registered with its services, in order to allow/disallow the use of that information for finding your via Hangouts or other Google Services. It also makes it so that “people may be able to see your name and profile photo when you call them or they call you,” according to Google.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 10.00.10 AMThis is nowhere near as troubling as Google using your profile photo in its own ads, and in fact, I consider it a remarkably useful feature addition as someone who gets a lot of inbound calls from sources I’m not necessarily familiar with. The fact that it’s opt-out versus opt-in probably isn’t ideal, and could surprise a lot of users who aren’t entirely up-to-date on what exactly Google is doing with the information they provide. If it is an issue, follow the steps above to either disable the option to find you via phone number, or remove them entirely.

Other Caller ID features already implemented in Android 4.4 include matching business and service numbers, as mentioned, and also looking up information from your Google Apps domain, should you organization use that, to let you know when someone from work is calling. KitKat is already available to Nexus 5 users right now, and will be rolling out to Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Google Play edition devices in the “coming weeks.”