Smartphones have evolved to new heights in the last decade. They are now a critical part of our everyday life. The smartphone is now your camera, your digital assistant, your gaming device, your pedometer, your entry in virtual reality and so much more. In this relentless journey to make the smartphone encompass your entire life, somewhere along the way, the actual Phone part of it was neglected.
The calling experience has largely been unchanged in the last decade. We still call people the same way we did in 2007. It is still interruptive, non-contextual and lately dangerous with the rise of phone scams. Caller ID and anti-spam apps have existed for a while (Hiya launched the first caller ID app ever in 2008) but most users are not aware of them. To truly redefine the phone at mass-market levels, the experience needs to be delivered by the phone manufacturer or the network operator.
Samsung Galaxy S8 launches today globally. It has an incredible display, the latest and greatest specs, a stunning camera, an iris scanner and laser-based face detection! But along with all that, it also takes major steps to reinvent the actual Phone.
The Galaxy S7 was the first major OEM to launch Caller ID and Spam protection right out of the box (powered by Hiya). This helped provide context to incoming calls and make the phone call trustworthy again. The S8 takes another big step – making outbound calls more seamless. The S8 phone app now integrates Places (also powered by Hiya) which now allows you to discover and call businesses the same way you’d call your contacts – right from the Phone dialer.
The Phone network is the largest social network in the world, connecting 5 Billion+ subscribers. It has endured a century of competition. It powers some of the most mission-critical infrastructures be it your school emergency alerts or your spouse calling you to pick up the kids. And now it is innovating again.