There hasn’t been much innovation on the "phone" part of the smartphone since the introduction of visual voicemail. Two months ago, however, WhitePages released Current Caller ID, a free Android-only app that brings some much-needed advancement to the basic caller ID features that have been available for years.
In addition to showing a name and number, Current Caller ID displays a caller's most recent Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates. The app also shows you the caller’s local weather and some location-related news headlines.
The Facebook integration alone is enough to make the app worth a download. Here's one reason why.
Not long ago, a colleague I hadn’t spoken to in months called.
“How was your summer?” I asked.
“Pretty awful,” he replied.
Turns out, his wife had some serious health issues during the past few months. I felt badly I didn't know. Even though my colleague and I are Facebook friends and he posted updates about her condition multiple times, I somehow managed not to see those posts during my infrequent Facebook visits. If I’d had Current Caller ID, I might have been better prepared.
(Screenshot by WhitePages)
The app has a few other slick features, too. By default, you can view one-month or three-month phone/text activity logs for each contact. For $2, you can see an entire year’s worth of activities. Current Caller ID also graphically depicts your average interactions with particular callers, including the best time to call (based on call history), how long you typically talk, and the balance between texts you send a particular caller and the texts that caller sends you.
Of course, the Current Caller ID concept isn’t new to anyone who’s used Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software connectivity tools, which also display background information on callers. Still, for consumers, Current Caller ID will feel like a big step forward.
My only concern: People already have enough distractions behind the wheel, and scanning an incoming caller’s Facebook status while driving is bound to lead to accidents (or worse). So do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and please try not to get too enamored with this app’s features when driving.