Tired of not being able to tell who's calling me at all, I ended up putting out the additional monthly cost and getting caller ID display in my phone plan. And since I took it, I... still cannot tell who's calling me most of the time.

Let me explain. When you have a home phone and have caller ID display in your plan, it displays the number of the person calling you as well as the name associated to that number in the phonebook. But that doesn't happen on my mobile phone. Unless it's a contact of mine, it's Unknown / No name that comes with the number.

But the absence of such information makes the feature half as useful as home phone caller ID display (for the same price >_>).

I realise this is more of a network / carrier issue, and that there's probably no way for me, myself, to change it (or is there? :D), but I'm wondering if there's a workaround.

For example, a way for me to create my own phonebook with some names. Of course, I could just add them to my contacts, but adding people who aren't actually contacts would clutter my contacts list a ton. And categories don't really work on my phone. you can't manage them on the phone at all. You need to create contacts at the root of the contacts, and then log in to the Google website with your computer and sort them.

So... Yeah. Is there any remotely convenient way for me to "fix" caller ID display, so I know who is that non-contact who's calling?

Edit: I forgot to say. I did ask my provider about it. They said the system is different for mobile and home phones and they can't do anything about it.

My phone:

  • Samsung Galaxy Q (SGH-T589W)
  • Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
  • Processor: 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227
  • Internal storage: 152 MB
  • RAM: 279 MB
  • SD card: 2 GB
  • Carrier: Videotron
  • You could potentially get an app that does a 411 on the number and displays the result but that may be slow/unreliable if it even exists. Jan 26, 2013 at 4:11
  • @MatthewRead Yeah. I'm mostly looking for a workaround. Like a "phone book" external to my contacts.
    – Ariane
    Jan 26, 2013 at 5:47
  • You DO have two phone books on your Android phone. One is Google contacts that syncs with google.com/contacts. The other is the internal phone book that DOESN'T sync with anything. I am running 2.3.5 and when I add a contact it asks which one I want to create (phone or Google).
    – William
    Jan 27, 2013 at 1:31
  • @William But those aren't it two separate places, are they? There are even three places where I can put them. Google account, SIM card, phone. But they'll all still show up in Contacts, and as such, the "pollution" still occurs.
    – Ariane
    Jan 27, 2013 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


I use Current Caller ID and it seems to work ok, better if you let it connect with Facebook. It is not perfect but it will help out.

I also use Reverse Lookup. It is after the fact, but it does a good job. it will google the number and quickly add it to your phone book if you want.

Neither are going to get you coverage all the time but it is the best I have found.

  • But this... requires a mobile Internet connection, right?
    – Ariane
    Jan 26, 2013 at 20:18
  • Yes, it will require an internet connection. Just like syncing Google contacts. Your mobile provider is correct there is nothing they can do about missing the caller's name. Mobile phones just don't receive the name, only the number; it has always been that way. I have worked for a small land-line carrier and for Sprint. I have never heard of a "caller ID display" feature from the carrier for mobile phones. Maybe things have changed since I left Sprint 7+ years ago, but I doubt it.
    – William
    Jan 27, 2013 at 1:26
  • But does it require an Internet connection whenever I receive a call, or does it have memory, and can it fetch people's names automatically, when I get home, at night, and remember them for the next time they call?
    – Ariane
    Jan 27, 2013 at 15:16
  • "unknown" callers will require an internet connection. Current Caller ID does have a "memory" after the first call and I would guess doesn't use the internet to get the name again. Reverse lookup does not have a memory.
    – William
    Jan 28, 2013 at 21:06
  • Current Caller ID, can it lookup numbers after they've called? Like, when connected to the Internet, it takes my whole call history, looks each number up and remember their names, and then runs another search for new unknown numbers the next time my phone is connected to the Internet? Because my phone is not online 99 % of the time, so if I need to be connected whenever I get a call, it's quite pointless.
    – Ariane
    Jan 29, 2013 at 2:36

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