Future Android version may support “Smart Forwarding” to forward calls between SIMs

Future Android version may support “Smart Forwarding” to forward calls between SIMs

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The open source nature of Android is arguably the biggest advantage the OS has to offer when compared to its competitors. AOSP allows third-parties to modify Android for their own devices, and also makes it so their code is easily contributable. Lurking in the AOSP Gerrit, we stumble upon a few interesting things every now and then. Although the stable version of Android Q isn’t even out yet, Google is already working on features that will make their way into future versions of Android. Earlier, we found a clue that Android R may support DualShock 4 motion controls and securely storing digital driver’s licenses. Now, we found something connectivity-related.

As you may have noticed, dual SIM phones have been getting more popular in North America as of late. The flagships of the past two or three years have started adopting eSIM functionality to support at least DSDS. For example, Android Q beta on the Google Pixel 3 enables DSDS, and there are hints that the Pixel 4 will as well. Since the Pixels are getting better dual SIM support, we’ve noticed that Google is adding features to AOSP to make the calling experience easier for everyone. There are times when one of your SIM-cards go out of service (maybe you’re in a bad area or there’s some issue with the carrier), and that’s exactly where the new “Smart Forwarding” is going to help you out.

The future addition to Android will redirect all your calls from an unreachable number to the working one on your device. Keep in mind that this will only happen if you have two SIMs in your device and only one of them is available while receiving the call. You will be able to trigger the functionality (and most likely switch the SIMs) from the UI. Here is the feature description from the relevant commit:

Smart forwarding config. Smart forwarding is a feature to configure call forwarding to a different SIM in the device when one SIM is not reachable. The config here specifies a smart forwarding component that will launch UI for changing the configuration. An empty string indicates that no smart forwarding component is specified. Currently, only one non-empty configuration of smart forwarding component within [the] system will be used when multiple SIMs are inserted.

The telephony configuration for Smart Forwarding can be found here. Honestly, I didn’t even know this kind of functionality was possible to implement on the system-level. From the looks of it, specific carriers don’t need to add any support, or at least Google hasn’t mentioned that yet. The commit hasn’t been merged yet, but since these patches were submitted by Googlers we’re confident they will be merged after they have been verified to not conflict with anything else. We’ll keep you updated if we see any progress on the feature in AOSP.