Nothing gets my goat quite like an unknown number. On one hand, I know it’s probably pointless to answer. On the other, my curiosity is often insatiable. Even if I can somehow stave off the itch to answer the call, I still want to know who was on the other end. Telemarketer? Wrong number? Ex girlfriend? That normally leads me to my computer, where a quick googling usually reveals something. If it’s a telemarketer I’ll find out right away. If not, I’m often left with nothing other than the knowledge that it probably wasn’t a telemarketer. With the new Android app Number Guru, not only do I make that search easier, but I have found it provides at least a sliver more information.
There are plenty of reverse look-up apps out there, but most of them are either ineffective, or they cost money. I’m sorry, but while my curiosity runs high, my frontal cortex rejects the idea of paying for something as trivial as a reverse look-up. That’s why Number Guru is a compromise of sorts. It gives you at least a sliver of information, and on certain numbers it will give you plenty more. It even has a feature that will provide even more information on more numbers, though as you’ll see later in the post I do not recommend doing it.
After you install Number Guru, the process is easy. Just type or copy/paste a number into the field, and you’ll get results. If it’s a telemarketer you’ll likely see a lot of comments from people complaining about getting a call from it — much like you see when you google a telemarketer’s number on the web. You can add your own comment. You can also start leaving comments for telemarketing numbers that don’t already have any. After all, if one person leaves a comment saying it’s a telemarketer, you can be fairly certain.
If you’re searching a landline, you’ll get the basic white pages information. It’s not totally accurate — it had the wrong town, but an adjacent one, listed for my parents — but it’s good enough an approximation. If it’s a wireless caller you’ll see the location they’re based in. This is pretty accurate, from what I can gather. I have a number based in one area, but when I looked up my second cell phone (a BlackBerry), it showed me the town I live in.
When you start up Number Guru, it asks to access your contact information, so that it can get more information about more wireless numbers. I would not do this. If you want to share your number, that’s one thing. But sharing your contacts’ numbers seems like a no-no. It might help the app run smoother and provide more information, but it’s also you giving out other peoples’ information without their permission. I can’t say I’m a big fan of that.
If you want quick, free lookups of unknown numbers, you can get Number Guru for free from the Market.