While it won’t fall in the “most exciting” app category, the Google Phone app is a solid performer and Google, like so many of their other apps, continues to make improvements to it. The latest update to the dialer is rolling out in the Google Play Store now, bringing with it a few new features along with the normal smattering of bug fixes & performance updates.
The new build is version 15 for those keeping score at home.
Borrowing a feature from the Google Contacts app, this new version of the Phone app now has a contact clean up feature. Now when you go to the Contacts tab within the app, a bottom pop-up will display to show you which contacts you have that are duplicated. You can then choose to clean those contacts up by merging them. The feature is not as robust as the one found in the proper Contacts app but will get the job done nevertheless.
The other significant new feature in this update to Google Phone is Assistant Dialing. This feature is aimed to help when you travel abroad by inserting the country code into the dial pattern when you are calling overseas. This feature is enabled by default but you can disable it should you want to do so in the Settings>Assisted Dialing section of the app.
Finally, as has become the norm for Google apps, this update to the Phone app now has the light navigation bar at the bottom of the app. This has been an ongoing trend for Google since the release of the Pixel 2 lineup of phones where, especially with the Pixel 2 XL, there have been concerns about burn-in or after-images on the P-OLED display. Google has been working to lower this risk by using a light navigation bar in their apps.
If you have the Google Phone app installed on your device, you should see the OTA update over the course of the next few days. If you want to install the app on your phone, you can download it for free from the Play Store. Remember that you must be running Android Marshmallow (version 6.x) or higher to use it.