Google’s open source mobile OS Android has been a dominant player in the smartphone business. Based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices, Android has managed to grab the lion’s share of smartphone market in the recent years. Over 1.4 billion smartphone users have an Android device and the numbers are expected to rise. Over the years, Google has been moving many of its core Android system apps to the Play store. And the latest apps to become the standalone Google Play store applications include the Phone (Stock Android dialer) and Contacts. With this recent shift, Google have the option to update these apps whenever it likes without waiting for the updates from its partners. So, no matter what device you currently own, downloading the Phone and Contact apps from the Play Store helps you enjoy a novel Android experience that’s only available for Nexus, Android One and Google Play Edition devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Despite the benefits, there is one downside to Google apps – only devices that have these system apps preinstalled will be able to install them.
The Phone and Contact apps have received some upgrades. Dialer goes up from v2.2 to v2.3 whereas Contacts app gets upgraded to v1.3 from 1.2. The dialer app or Phone has received many additional features such as call blocking and slightly improved in-call UI. Brand new caller ID system offered by the Google provides a cool and appealing look. If you have provided a nickname to any contact, then the dialer will display the nickname instead of regular contact name. Moreover, voicemail count is available, provided your device supports Google’s visual voicemail feature. Contact apps come with a “streamlined editing”, which makes changing contacts easy and convenient. You may download Google Dialer 2.3.12 and Google Contacts 1.3.07 from Play Store. And the devices that have these apps preinstalled can update them through Google Play Store.