Truecaller started its journey as a caller ID service, but for the past year, it has been trying to be so much more. The Sweden-based company has been aggressively entering new spaces and is trying to be what some are calling a super app. From digital payments to instant messages, Truecaller has become a one-stop shop for communications.
But as you may notice, a piece of that puzzle is missing: audio and video calls. Well, it looks like Truecaller is ready to add that too. In the latest beta version of the application (version no. 10.31.6) for Android, Truecaller has brought its own implementation of audio calls. The feature comes as Truecaller removes the long-standing Google Duo integration, which allows users to instantly start video chats.
The update adds a new Truecaller Audio shortcut on a contact page in addition to the regular phone button. By tapping it, you will be able to call the other person via Truecaller. Of course, the person on the other end will need to be on the latest version of Truecaller. These calls will sync to the rest of the call log as well, since you are using Truecaller as your main phone app.
Also, for now at least, the functionality, as well as the interface, is mostly barebones and it doesn’t have a video option. As Google Duo is no longer present on Truecaller, we hope that video calls will arrive soon enough too.
In our brief tests, the calls to Truecaller Audio were surprisingly crisp and clear despite being in early stages. However, it remains to be seen if that will be true for weaker connections, something that both Google Duo and WhatsApp excel at.
Truecaller Audio pairs well with several recent company ventures. In addition to checking calls, today’s app can show you if a contact is on an active call, you can switch between SMS and IM, send flash messages, and much more. However, it is worth noting that Truecaller still shows quick links for other communication platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
At the time of writing, Truecaller Audio is only available to beta Android users. So, if you want to test the feature, you can sign up for the early access channel from the Play store. To do so, tap on the Play Store icon and go to the Truecaller listing. There, scroll down until you find the Join Beta button. Hit that and wait for an update.
From what we can tell it’s not a server-side deployment. So you should be able to get it just by installing the version. Since it has just started rolling out, the public update will likely take a handful of weeks.
We have contacted Truecaller for the release date and will update the story accordingly.
As of the 140 million daily users, 100 million live in India, Truecaller Audio is an obvious step for the company. Unfortunately, those are all the numbers we have. So it’s unclear how many of Truecaller’s users are using it beyond its caller ID capabilities, which alone doesn’t require them to open the app once they’ve finished the setup process. With this flood of updates, Truecaller also runs the risk of saturating its main application that already suffers from performance issues.
Another criticism that Truecaller has been unable to escape is privacy. When it launched instant messaging, the company reassured its users by mentioning that their chats are end-to-end encrypted. While that probably extends to calls as well, Truecaller will have to be a bit more proactive this time if it wants to answer the security question.
Another aspect that Truecaller has been a lot busier lately is income. As it moves through various sectors, the company has tried to convince its users to pay with new plans. A handful of recent additions were made for the Premium version only in the hopes that customers would subscribe. In February, Truecaller said that there are now more than half a million premium subscribers, but that’s even less than 1% of its total base.
So it’s safe to say more than the competition, user perception is hampering Truecaller’s new feature set to soar. Whether internal audio and video calls change it, we can only wait and see.
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