Technology

App displays friends' status updates when they call

Friday, August 24, 2012

Over the years, ring tones have gotten a lot cooler -- but that's about all that's changed about the phone part of your smartphone -- until now.

Alex Algard, who founded WhitePages.com, wants to help the good old telephone play catch-up. He has an app for that -- it's called Current Caller ID.

Every time the phone rings, the app scans your social networks to find whatever useful information it can about the person who's calling -- before you pick up.

Some of the information the app looks for includes the caller's job title and employer, their recent Facebook status updates and latest tweets, Algard said.

And if you don't know the person, the app will at least try to get a name and address from WhitePages.com to help you decide whether to answer and to be prepared when you do.

"It's sort of a conversation starter in some ways, to get you a step ahead on what's going on in the caller's or texter's life," Algard said.

The app is free, but it's only available for Android phones. That's because Apple prohibits apps that modify the phone's calling features, says Davindra Hardawar, national editor of VentureBeat.

"This is definitely not possible on the iPhone, on Windows phones or even on RIM's Blackberry platform. The whole point of Android is it's really open, very customizable, it allows you to do things like this," he said.

But Hardawar says he wouldn't be surprised if Apple and Microsoft take a hard look at this app -- because he says it makes your smartphone a smarter phone.

"We're seeing this next wave of apps that are kind of doing the work for us. In many ways that's going to make us smarter," he said.

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apps, smartphones, twitter, social media, facebook, technology, jonathan bloom
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