Truecaller reintroduces call recording for premium users

Image credits: true caller

Caller ID app Truecaller has introduced call recording on both iOS and Android. While restrictions on both operating systems prevent apps from recording calls natively, Truecaller gets around that by calling a dedicated recording line.

On Android, users can use TrueCallers dialer directly to start a recording call. If they are using another dialer, Truecaller will display a floating sign up button.

On iOS, the process is a bit complicated. For both incoming and outgoing calls, users will need to call a recording line through the Truecaller app and merge the calls. The company has confirmed that the other party on the call will hear a beep to indicate the call has been recorded.

Notably, Truecaller introduced call recording for premium users on Android in 2018 and rolled out to all Android users in 2021. However, in 2022, Google restricted access to its Accessibility API, which many apps including Truecaller used to record calls. So the company had to remove the feature from its apps.

The company said that in addition to recording calls, it will also provide transcripts to users, a feature it plans to roll out in the coming weeks. Additionally, users will be able to search transcripts to easily find information in recorded conversations.

Raphael Mimoun, cloud phone product director at the company, told TechCrunch on a call that all recordings and transcripts will be stored on the device and Truecaller will not store any data in the cloud.

To facilitate all of this, Truecaller leverages a lot of technology from CallHero, a startup founded by Mimoun that the Swedish company acquired last year.

Truecallers’ approach is not unique. Solutions like RecMycalls and Tapeacall have used similar ways to record calls. The Swedish company says storing the data locally and not collecting any user information is where its method blazes a new trail.

In 2022, Indian magazine The Caravan published a story claiming that Truecaller was collecting user data without their consent. The company later denied these allegations in a statement.

Truecaller tested this feature with some iOS users in the U.S. Today, the company is rolling it out to all users with a premium subscription. With this roll-out, Truecaller is now offering three plans in the US: a basic ad-free plan ($1 per month), a premium plan with call recording ($3.99 per month), an upscale plan with call screening assistant ($4.49 per month).

Image credits: true caller

Nami Zarringhalam, co-founder of Truecallers, said the company aims to roll out this feature in more countries, including India, which is its largest market. Additionally, she’s also exploring ways to notify users if an AI is on the other end of the call. In 2018, Google introduced a conversational assistant called Duplex that helps you book appointments. At the time, the company said it built the bot to feel natural.

Zarringhalam said the company is cleaning up its subscription tiers and has started thinking about ways to offer different tiers with features that make sense to the user at every price point.

Truecaller has more than half a million users in the US, and the company said 10% have some sort of subscription plan. The company has over 350 million users worldwide with India being its largest market with 100 million users. In its latest earnings report, the company said it saw an 18% increase in subscribers year-over-year. These results indicated that despite the growth in paid users, subscriptions accounted for approximately 12% of the company’s revenue, with advertising bringing in the bulk of the money.

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