In a quest to end spam texts and robocalls, the online phone directory company Whitepages is spinning off Hiya, an app that provides its users with caller ID and spam protection services. Formerly known as Whitepages Caller ID, the new caller ID app Hiya seeks to bring all its users the most advanced caller ID technology on the market.
What Caller ID App Hiya Does
“For smartphone users, it’s never been more important to know who is on the other end of the line, particularly as more bad actors look to infringe on that personal space with spam calls,” the founder and soon to be CEO of Hiya Alex Algard said in a statement. “We’ve made great strides incubating this business at Whitepages, but now is the right time to transition to a stand-alone, start-up company. I’m excited that Hiya can be fully focused on the huge and growing opportunity to provide a better phone experience for all mobile users worldwide.”
While the Federal Communications Commission is tirelessly battling phone spam, in 2014, there were more than 54 percent of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission involved unwanted calls, the company claims.
Phone spam affects businesses too tying up valuable time and resources as well as the potential danger posed by phone scams.
Hiya will be battling phone spam using features such as call and text identification, real time spam and spam detection and call blocking. With the latter, businesses can automatically block known spam numbers. The call and text identification on the other hand works for both incoming and outgoing calls, regardless of whether you have them on your contacts or not.
On a more positive note, businesses no longer have to worry about taking a call from a number that is not on their address book as the caller’s ID is clearly displayed for them.
Hiya isn’t the only caller ID app. There are several others like Truecaller, Holla and Extreme Call Blocker. An app like Truecaller already has a huge following — 100 million users — almost four times the number of Hiya users and this makes it one of Hiya’s biggest competitors.
Hiya isn’t exactly new to techies. In 2011, Hiya was an app that helped users to clean their address book. Now it seems, the parent company, Whitepages, has decided to repurpose the brand for its new business.
Led by a team of seasoned security and products executives with roots at Samsung, Google and Intel Security, Hiya currently touches the lives of users in more than 192 countries. The app also has more than 25 million downloads.
I could remember the days when Caller ID is such a big deal that you have to pay for it. It is nice that there are some apps that can do it today.
I uninstalled this app because its behavior is unacceptable. It will often put a box on the screen covering up where you would swipe to accept a call. The faulty design of the app thus sometimes prevents you from answering calls. Its functions are well served by other app options, so I really can’t see why anyone would want this misdesigned app on their phone.
Hiya is not nearly as good as the original caller id app! Its slow and doesn’t always show the caller ID info until its too late!
I installed it on my Iphone, but it doesn’t seem to do anything. It doesn’t identify incoming calls as spam, nor does it block spam calls when I turn in the block setting. I still get plenty of spam calls. I type the numbers into the Hiya number identification function (why should I have to retype them?) and it does look them up and report that the number is a risk for spam. But why doesn’t it identify the incoming call as spam so I can decide whether to answer it, or block the call altogether. Hiya says it does this but it does not.
My Iphone already has a function in contacts where you set a block phone numbers in the future, after a call has been received. However, the spammers are always changing the numbers they call from. I was hoping Hiya would help identify and block spam call from numbers that haven’t called me before.
Open Hiya, click the three horizontal bars, then settings, then caller protection…..Do you have everything checked or turned on under this section? If not, turn them on. Hiya will then block all “known” spam or telemarketers in its database. If a new number is being used and not in their database, you will have to physically add it to the block list. Hiya will still let known business and residential phone calls come through, if they haven’t been reported as spam yet. On those calls, you can physically add them to the block list, so they no longer disturb you as well. I hope this helps!
Crystal – Thanks for your suggestion. I’m having the same issue as Garry. I do not see the three horizontal bars you mentioned. What am I missing?
Mine doesn’t have the 3 bars either, but it does have a ‘Settings’ icon at the bottom of the screen.
From there, it offers ‘Call Settings’, Call Screener’, ‘Help & Support’ & ‘About and Privacy’.
It’s my understanding that automatic spam ID and blocking can only work with iOS 10; earlier iOS versions sandblocked all phone ID info so that it was unavailable to apps. I have 10, and just installed Hiya this evening. I will give it a try and see if it works for me…
I’m having to manually add every number. So how is it helping other than making more work for me?
How do I add my number to the hiya database so people can see I am calling them
I have this app installed on my iPhone but it’s not blocking anything. When I go into settings and click on the ‘Automatic Spam Blocking’ option, it wants me to select a paid plan. I thought this app was supposed to be free????