Home > mint-lounge > Truecaller for iPhone: A long way to go

The popular online contact identification app, Truecaller, is now rolling out an update for Apple iPhone users, which will enable Live Caller ID for an incoming call for a number not saved in the phone’s contact list. This is the first time Truecaller is offering this feature for the iOS platform, but there are some caveats.

The Live Caller ID feature essentially uses the phone’s Wi-Fi/3G/4G connection to identify the caller when you receive a voice call from an unknown number which is not saved in your contacts list. The information is then shown in a separate box on the incoming call screen itself, which would give you a better idea of whether to answer the call or not. The Truecaller contacts list resides on the cloud, and essentially pools data from any phone on which the Truecaller app is installed. Till now, this identification feature was only available on Google’s Android smartphones, while iOS users had to manually search for details of phone numbers.

Truecaller’s latest update for the iPhone app, which is now version 6.71, and can now be downloaded from the App Store. To enable the Caller ID feature, the Spam ID has to be enabled within the Truecaller app. For this, open the Truecaller app -> go to the Spam tab -> enable Spam ID. Once you do, you will see the screen’s background colour change to blue or green.

However, it isn’t as simple or smooth as the way the same feature works on Android. And here is a list of conditions that need to be met. This new feature will only work for calls you receive from other Truecaller users, at the moment, irrespective of whether they are also using an Android smartphone or an Apple iPhone.

If you are receiving a call from another iPhone user, the caller needs to initiate the call from within the Truecaller app to trigger the Caller ID on the recipient’s iPhone. Both parties also need to have a 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi connection to pull the data from the cloud. The Truecaller app needs to be running in the background; otherwise, the live Caller ID will stop working.

Truecaller says that these are workarounds for the limitations in Apple’s iOS platform. However, they do say that “we’ll continue to make improvements to the Caller ID in the coming weeks. As more and more users install Truecaller, you’ll see fewer and fewer unknown calls." It will be interesting is to see whether Apple works with Truecaller to better integrate the feature in the current and future iterations of the iOS platform for iPhones. While there is merit in Apple’s argument about why it is resisting opening access to certain features of the iOS platform, to keep it more secure, it may perhaps be time for Apple to make an exception, to get a feature which Android boasts of.

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