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What Is Photo Caller ID?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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Photo caller ID is software which allows the pictures of individual contacts to be displayed along with their phone numbers during an incoming call. This software typically requires that users photograph their contacts and manually add them to their phone's directory database. Some smartphones can download contact and photo ID information from the Internet to create this type of ID without requiring the manual input of the user. This type of software can be downloaded to some camera capable cellular phones that do not already possess it, but cannot be added to landline home telephone services.

This technology integrates standard caller ID software with a phone's picture capabilities. Caller ID displays an individual's phone number from an incoming call, allowing the user to determine whether to answer the call. The number is then stored in the phone's memory bank, and can often be added to the user's permanent saved contact list.

Photo caller ID is typically only available on phones which include an internal camera. Users can take pictures of their contacts and store them in the phone's memory database. The picture must then be added to a contact's saved phone information to create the ID. Users can typically add a picture to a contact phone book entry by selecting the photo ID logo from the contact menu. They are then redirected to the phone's photo library, where they can select any photo to represent that contact.

Not all camera phones have photo caller ID available as a standard feature included in the phone's operating software. Individuals who wish to add this technology to their phone may have the option to download the relevant software to their device after their initial purchase. Depending on the wireless carrier through which the cellular service was purchased, users may be able to access this software from a wireless application platform provided by the carrier, or may be able to download the application directly from the Internet. Adding this type of software to the phone usually charges an additional fee to the user's cellular bill.

Certain types of smartphones which can connect directly with the Internet are able to create a photo caller ID based on social media applications. These phones are able to integrate a user's contact list with his favorite social networking sites. Most social networking sites allow users to enter their personal contact information into their profile, which is then available to their approved friends. The smartphone can then use the downloaded application for each social networking site to save this contact information, including each individual's profile photo, into the permanent internal contact database. This type of software does not require the user to take photos of his contacts personally or add them to his phone book database.

Landline based home telephones are frequently equipped with caller ID, but do not yet have the added functionality of photo caller ID. No saved photographic information exists in the telephone's circuitry from which to create photo enhanced contact information. Unlike cellular caller ID, which only provides an incoming phone number, landline based caller ID often provides the name of the individual calling based on saved billing information related to the incoming telephone number.

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