Name: Mr. Number
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Quick Pitch: The Mr. Number app replaces the native calling and texting functions on your Android device.
Genius Idea: The app gives Android users -- who love customization options -- complete control of messages, calls and contacts.
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If you have a smartphone, you've probably received text messages about winning a cruise, car or iPad -- in other words, free mobile malware. A recent study estimates 4.5 billion spam messages were sent to cell phones last year.
Mr. Number is a Palo Alto-based startup that created a popular spam solution for Android users. The Mr. Number app lets patrons block unwanted calls and SMS messages. Since its launch nearly two years ago, more than 5 million Android users are using the spam-stopping app.
"We discovered users were actively seeking a solution to a problem," Mr. Number CEO and co-founder Jason Devitt tells Mashable.
It's effortless defense against spammers, harassers or stalkers. You don't have to register your mobile phone with the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry, or call your carrier's customer service line to report incidents. Android owners can directly block numbers.
How does it work? Mr. Number blocks known spam companies in its database. Users can freely block individual numbers or automatically send them to voicemail.
The Mr. Number team believes your true social network consists of people you call, text and email. Based on this, the startup aims to make communication between you and your network more efficient.
"Mr. Number makes it easier, more fun, straightforward and even cheaper to communicate with the people you are about," Devitt says, adding that the caller-identification app evolved, incorporating several new features.
"Over time, we realized there was a whole set of functionality and features people were looking for," he says. "People wanted to improve basic calling and texting."
More than a number-blocking app, Mr. Number makes native phone and texting functions more flexible.
Nifty features include free messaging with Mr. Number anywhere in the world. While there's a gamut of free texting apps, Mr. Number lets you text from your number. The messenger also shows read and received notifications. An added bonus is its unique picture-message storage that allows you to access photos in one place.
Users can notify their network with a public status update. Mobile users can tap into various modes, including: available, vibrate, silent, voicemail only or airplane. If your friends are also using Mr. Number, a little icon will show up displaying their status.
The Mr. Number app is not available for the iPhone because of iOS limitations; Apple does not allow developers to create apps that replace native phone functions.
Is mobile spam an issue for you? Tell us in the comments.
Image courtesy of Flickr, derohlsen
This story originally published on Mashable here.