Remember the first time you experienced the benefit of having Caller ID?
Do you recall the first time you saw aÂ person's phone number flash on that big bulky square box that was attached to your home telephone?Â DoÂ you remember thinking, "this is justÂ what I needed"?
At the time, Caller ID seemed to be a delicious taste of the future for consumers, and today, thinking about not having the ability to screen yourÂ calls seemsÂ quite insane.
Also,Â most people don't just useÂ their homeÂ phones to communicate with friends, family and associates, as mobile devices are the common way people choose to stay socially plugged-in. And using the caller ID feature is a big part of that process.
SoÂ the folks at White Pages have created what they call Current Caller ID thatÂ not only allows you toÂ see the phone number of the person calling you, but it alsoÂ gives you other caller information -- including a person's social media updates.
And according to the Director of Mobile Products at White Pages, Lori Roth, Current Caller ID allows one to better communicate with people, while also giving them other caller information they may find pertinent.
New Android app
"Current is a new Android app that takes Caller ID beyond simply identifying a name," she said in a statement. "So we set out to marry call and text ID with social status, local news and weather to create a single useful service that makes it easy for people to instantaneously stay up-to-date with the people they communicate with the most."
"This approach allows us to move well beyond making Caller ID just about a name and a number and provide consumers timely, relevant information to keep on top of things in an information overloaded world," said Roth.
As most know, phones aren't used just for phoningÂ nowadays, and checking things like social media updates equals the daily routine of placing a call in terms of repetitive usage. Â
In an interview with ConsumerAffairs, Roth says Current Caller ID is the ideal app, as it's perfectly shaped to handle the way devices are used today and makes it easier for the user to navigate through the digital world, which canÂ be cumbersome sometimes.
"Between Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks, people are increasingly overwhelmed not only with hundreds of connections, but with thousands of updates," she details. "Current helps you break through the clutter by providing social updates all in one place, when you need it the most - right when you are about to pick up the phone to call someone or as they are calling you. It is also the perfect conversation starter for friends, family and even business acquaintances."
Different apps for this app
Roth also explains that people have been using Current Caller ID in a number of different ways so far.
And if you think about it, Current makes perfect sense as today's consumer expects to have that wall of anonymityÂ that's associated with digital exchange lowered -- so users are able to peek over it -- and see just who they're communicating with. Â
Â "We have had nearly 1 million downloads since we launched in early August," says Roth.
"The feedback has been tremendous with people using the app for a wide variety of use cases - everything from ensuring a Craigslist buyer is who they say they are (Caller ID verifies this), to a cheating girlfriend (an incoming call caught in the act!), to proof points that a needy girlfriend is indeed being paid attention to (infographics show time spent texting/calling one another)," she said.
As far as privacy concernsÂ go, Roth says that Current Caller ID doesn't release any social media information that the contact person doesn't want viewable, so people still have the power to control what showsÂ on the caller ID.
"We don't see local information like weather and news as an invasion of privacy, as these things are readily available across any device with Internet access," Roth affirms.
"As far as social information, we only surface updates for the people that you are connected to on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. As a user, you will only be able to see information that the contact has allowed to be available to you or to the Current Caller ID App," she says.
International use on the app could be next on White Pages creative plate, but first the company wants to nurture it, so it can not only grow in popularity - but provide a consistent level of quality and usefulness, says Roth.
"We are always looking to enhance our products and services, but for now are focused on making sure the existing product provides the best experience for our users," she notes. "Some features that you could see down the road include optimization for international usage and further integration with additional social networks."
Current Caller ID can be downloaded for free at Google Play.Â Â