Improved caller ID for iPhone
October 14, 2021 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Back in the old landline days, caller ID would generally show you not just the phone number but the name of the person calling. On cell phones these days, by contrast, it seems that you only see the number, not the name (unless you already have the caller stored in your contacts). Are there any ways you recommend to restore that old caller ID functionality for iPhones? I've seen some apps out there that promise to do this but don't know which if any are worthwhile, or if there are any other approaches. Thanks!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Winnie the Proust at 9:09 AM on October 14, 2021

I don't know the answer, but I know that I can control what my cell phone puts out as caller ID. I can choose to show my name or not. (Android user)
posted by AugustWest at 9:14 AM on October 14, 2021

My mobile phone carrier doesn't give the option to have my name sent out to the caller-id system; I suspect that may be the case for many. So my name wouldn't show up on your iPhone unless my number was in your address book.
posted by anadem at 10:15 AM on October 14, 2021

This behavior is carrier dependent. With T-Mobile, for example, the short code #436# will enable it.

About 2 years ago, I was able to turn it on from within the iPhone settings app, but it appears that's no longer the case. (I am fairly certain the loss of this setting since then is due to a carrier settings update, not a fundamental change in iOS.)
posted by action man bow-tie at 10:41 AM on October 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Back in the old landline days,

For what it's worth, we still have a landline in this house and I'd say 85-90% of the incoming calls show up as just the number (not a few are spammer, of course). This includes the cell phones of all residents here. Insofar as I can see a pattern, the only ones that seem to show up with name as well are numbers that have been listed with the phone company for decades -- i.e. big organizations, medical offices, and the landlines of our senior citizen parents.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:44 AM on October 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

My circles use the Truecaller app (available both on Android and iPhone). I'm on the free plan but I know people on premium subscription. I wasn't really exploring the market so i went with what's the norm, and i really like it. The caller info is also built not just from established public registry info but also from userbase crowdsourcing, which is why it's so popular in my part of the world, as call centres and scammers gets ID'd as such by the app users.
posted by cendawanita at 12:32 PM on October 14, 2021

Response by poster: I installed Truecaller, though I have yet to see (or fully understand) its benefits. I was also able to get proper caller ID by subscribing to Verizon's "Call Filter Plus" service, for $0.75/mo.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:20 AM on October 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

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