Among the changes in Android 4.4 Kitkat, the dialer is one area that’s been given a fair bit of attention. The updated Phone app has a new look and can do handy things such as provide you with the numbers and contact information of nearby businesses, and from early next year it will be able to grab profile photos from Google+ and display them when you make or receive a call.

Google announced yesterday, via their Android Google+ page, that users who have verified their phone number with Google+ and have discovery turned on will have their names and Google Profile photos display whenever they make or receive calls. Google notes that this feature is “great if a new friend who hasn’t been saved in your contacts yet calls you”, which suggests that even if you’ve never called someone before, your full name and photo will still appear on their phone if you call them.

While this “feature” will be quite appealing to some, others will be quite put off by the idea of potential strangers having their full name and photo, so it’s worth noting that this service is turned on by default. To change the settings, you’ll need to go into your Google account and uncheck the box that says “Help people who have your phone number find you on Google services and connect with you.”.

What do you think about your Google+ profile picture being automatically associated with your phone number? Has Google gone too far, or is it no big deal? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Google+.
Via: Android Central.
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And this shows more clearly why Hangouts should never have been allowed to swallow the basic mobile phone functionality of Android.
I really hope the devs at XDA can pick apart Hangouts to de-phone it, so those of us who value keeping such things separate, can maintain having separate phone and SMS apps, and hangouts on our Android devices.

Darren Ferguson

Or you could just install another SMS app and set it as default.

I am looking forward to SMS compatibility in hangouts when I get my hands on a Nexus5.

Daniel Murphy

What benefit is it to have them separate?

Having everything within one stream of data makes it a lot easier to manage.


Daniel, it’s a benefit for those who don’t want their phone number tied directly to and displayed with their G+ account, whenever a phonecall is being made.

Darren, from all the info so far, the ability to assign a separate SMS app is only available in KK. For anyone who’s device won’t be updated to KK, there is no indication of being given any option to not have our SMS and phone functions taken over by Hangouts.

Forest Lake

totally hate it ! i am having issues with Google anyway due to my name… it was verified, now, 6 months later they want MORE evidence… probably part of this scheme no doubt !


I sure hope I have the ability to not show or change certain peoples photos if I choose. I’d not want someone calling me with a non-PG photo as their profile pic ( some of my friends think its hilarious).


I don’t really mind this feature. If you’re calling someone you’re unfamiliar with, just block your number?


I’m playing with my Nexus 5 now and I’m a little creeped out just how much Google has gotten into everything. The gallery now has my picasa photos, everything synchs now and although I was considering a G+ profile, I don’t think I will now. I’m now glad that we have Samsung to overlay Android so much that Google barely features in it.

Daniel Murphy

Picasa has been part of the Gallery for years. nothing new there.

And if your logged into your phone with your google account it doesnt matter what samsung or htc etc do, goole still does its thing in the background.

And if you have a google account of any type (gmail, picasa) you already have g+ account. its the same thing and activated automatically. Though it can be disabled.

Happy Dog

Ssssshhh! He still wants to live in denial land 🙂