After publishing, then pulling the stock Contacts and Phone apps to Google Play as standalone entities last week, Google has flipped that switch again and they’re now available to download again.
As we saw last week, the apps are still only available for Android One, Nexus and Google Play Edition devices running Android 6.0+ (Marshmallow), but for those running that version you can update your apps now and get at least one new feature on the Phone app: Call Blocking, though the business display also appears to have been updated as well with full information now displaying when you call a business. The entry in Google Play lists Call Blocking as :
Call Blocking – Get the calls you want, and not the ones you don’t. You can now block numbers to prevent unwanted calls.
The Contacts app hasn’t really seen much updated, though a new trick which displays any pseudonym you’ve assigned to a contact instead appears to have popped up, as well as a quick drop down to select which Google account you’re saving the contact to.
With the apps published as standalone apps we can now start seeing more updates to them if Google has things they want to change, rather than waiting for updates at OS update time – something a lot of the Android OEMs have been doing more of lately as well.