Apple’s latest software release came this week with the rollout of iOS 16. Available to all users, it includes many new personalization features, improvements to the lock and home screen, new app-level features, additional security and accessibility functions, and more.
However, the support of caller authentication information required under the TRACED Act was not included in the iOS 16 update. Congress was clear in its expectations of voice service providers to protect consumers from unauthenticated calls. It seems Apple is still not taking advantage of authenticated caller information to protect consumers in this latest release. Caller name display for incoming calls to iPhone iOS 16 users vs. caller name display on previous operating systems appears to have taken a step backward in providing more information at the time of the call for consumers. Compared to previous software releases, the caller name is now displayed in a smaller font, in gray, below the incoming phone number.
It’s unclear how the protections provided to consumers by an overwhelming bipartisan vote from Congress through the TRACED Act will impact consumers if device manufacturers, such as Apple, do not join in the efforts to pass authenticated caller information along at the time of the call.
A branded call from the same phone number calling an iPhone on iOS 15 displays a full-size name versus iOS 16, which displays a smaller name below the phone number.
In iOS 15, a branded call displays the caller name in the missed call log versus iOS 16, where a call from the same branded number only displays the phone number.
When selecting the blue information button on the right-hand side of the missed call log, iOS 15 and iOS 16 display branding information identically in the missed call information screen.
The side-by-side comparison of incoming calls branded with caller names received on iOS 16 versus iOS 15 demonstrates the difference in the presentation. This change does not impact the display size, placement of business, or personal contact information entered manually by the iPhone user into the Contact list.
Alignment across the telecom ecosystem, security and identity management experts, device manufacturers, service providers, and America’s most trusted brands will be needed to continue to move the industry forward to protect consumers from unauthenticated calls. By reducing the font size and de-prioritizing the display of vetted brand information, this software release takes a step back in the return of trust and transparency to incoming calls.
Numeracle will continue to monitor future iOS releases for impact on name display on Apple devices. Branded call display on Android devices remains unchanged.