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Truecaller streamlines communication with redesign for Android and iOS; crosses 1.2 million Premium subscribers

With the new redesign, Truecaller is streamlining messaging experience and adds new feature like full-screen Caller ID.

Truecaller is simplifying communication on its app with a revamped home screen. Being introduced as a complete redesign for its Android and iOS app, the idea is to streamline communication. The updated version of the app brings your call history, SMS and instant messages conversations into a single tab. Truecaller says this is the best way to offer all communication at a glance to its users. The app also brings fluidity and easier connection to the central Also Read - Truecaller becomes profitable, crosses 200 million monthly active users

The company says the single motivation behind this new update was to declutter the calling and messaging experience. The updated version of Truecaller has four tabs at the bottom: Home, Contacts, Pay and Banking. This new interface attacks SMS clutter problems by offering a single tab for call history, SMS and instant messages. All it takes to communicate with a contact is one tap with the new interface. Truecaller has reduced friction seen with the current version available on Android and iOS. Also Read - Truecaller Voice now supports call waiting feature: All you need to know

Also Read - Truecaller crosses 500 million downloads, 150 million daily active users

Bringing Communication Home

There is also a new dialer which now sits above the banking tab to quickly dial any contact. There is still a search bar at the top from where you can look up from any number or search your contacts. Below that there are four options including Personal, Favorites, Businesses and Spam. Truecaller is one of the most popular calling services used in the country. India has 150 million active users and accounts for 65 to 70 percent of the entire user base.

It is the most widely used application whenever you want to look up a person using their mobile number. While calling and searching mobile numbers has been a primary use case, Truecaller is also focusing on messaging. With the new update, messaging is deeply integrated into conversations. While you can tap on the call button next to a person, clicking on their profile opens up instant messaging. Kunal Dua, Director of Product (Messaging) at Truecaller says the idea is to "move from an useful experience to delightful SMS experience".

Built with focus on user data privacy

Truecaller is no stranger to privacy and it is often decried as one that collects aggressive data. However, the company refutes those claims and says the service is designed with user privacy in mind. From data localization to compliance, Truecaller follows local as well as international norms. Rishit Jhunjhunwala, VP of Product at Truecaller, said everything that happens on the app stays on the device. He even clarified that only data such as UPI registration is taken in the backend to enable payments.

Otherwise, Rishit insists that everything stays locally on the device and is not uploaded to its servers. He also added all SMS categorization happens on the device. Truecaller app, the company says, does not read sensitive data. The clarity is being offered after a bug enabled automatic initiation of UPI registration for a number of users last year. The company said no data was leaked during the process and the bug was fixed immediately. These incidents have definitely dealt a blow to the reputation of Truecaller in the country.

Caller ID goes fullscreen

One of the major changes with the new version of Truecaller is the full screen caller ID. This makes the app serve the calling function in the same way that a native dialer would do on your device. It is a huge departure from the existing pop-up calling function offered by the application. Rishit says a number of users said that pop-up calling functions have hindered their regular experience. It is eliminating that with a full-screen caller ID but also confirmed there won't be full-screen ads coming to the service.

The new caller ID will use colors for key indicators like blue for calls from contacts or unknown numbers, purple for priority calls from businesses or delivery services and red for known spammers and gold for users upgraded Gold accounts. While there is a live caller ID function for Android users, Truecaller says it is still waiting for Apple to allow such a feature. With virtual WWDC 2020 set to start on June 22, Truecaller does hope for new API support. It is also working with Google to enable call recording feature but it remains missing for now.

Building for India first

Truecaller is a service with a significant footprint in the country. It has the largest number of employees based out of India and nearly 70 percent of users are in the country. As a result, the company says all the features are built first for Indian market and then rolled over to other global markets. The company also confirmed that it has crossed 1.2 million Premium subscribers globally with 60 percent of those subscriptions coming from India. Rishit added that Truecaller Gold subscriptions have exceeded expectations.

While the experience is designed with decluttering communication in mind, Truecaller is also retaining some existing features. It is retaining the dark theme, which works in the same fashion as the existing version. Dua said that even those who don't use dark themes like Truecaller's implementation. The company also said that spam messages during a brief period of the ongoing lockdown. However, it is now back to normal and spammers are being more creative than ever before.

Truecaller says it has built tools to filter out these spam messages but users can help the system get better. With spammers using new numbers to not get detected, Truecaller says they can mark these numbers as spam so its system detects such numbers better. It will also allow users to mark messages as important which the system fails to recognize initially. In a nutshell, Truecaller is set to roll out an update that unifies communication, puts focus on privacy of user data and offers improved tools for detection.

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Published:Wed, May 20, 2020 6:28pm

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