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Truecaller: Call Blocking App for iPhone. Review, Features, Pros & Cons.

Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

No doubt that iPhone is one of the most powerful and useful devices out there. It has many helpful features that let us keep more productive while we perform our business and daily tasks. However, there’s one major issue that all iPhone users face in the modern world — this is the lack of an excellent in-built call blocker.

The recent researches made by the Federal Trade Commission and other reliable institutions show how extensive phone spam is worldwide and how much damage and frustration this issue is causing. For instance, 44% of Americans received spam calls related to COVID-19 in Q1 of 2020. You know that scammers frequently use spam phone calls to leak their victims’ financial and personal data, so just imagine: Americans lost nearly $19.7 billion from phone scams in 2020 — more than double the amount lost in 2019.

The Federal Trade Commission suggests that we don’t pick up phone calls from suspicious phone numbers, but unfortunately, some people can’t miss phone calls from strangers due to business and other personal needs. So we either have to reply to all irritating calls from telemarketers, robots, and scammers, or we have to risk missing vitally important phone calls from business partners, potential customers, bank assistants, etc.

This is where reliable call blocking apps come into play. They help us keep all incoming phone calls under control and decide if we should accept calls from unknown phone numbers. This article will get a more in-depth insight into one of the most popular call blockers for iPhone called Truecaller.

Basically, Truecaller is a fantastic app to identify unknown phone numbers and block spam calls. The app is suitable both for personal and business needs thanks to simple UI and powerful features. More than 250 million Truecaller users continuously replenish the spam number database, making the app up-to-date and appealing. What’s more, Truecaller identifies all categories of spam calls (robocalls, scammers, telemarketer calls, neighbour spoofing, etc.) to keep you calm and safe.

It’s worth noting that an in-built iPhone call blocking feature doesn’t offer such advanced features. It just allows you to add every annoying phone number to the blacklist only after it called and you realized that it’s spam. As you know, spammers get more and more cunning and use multiple numbers to make calls, so, in fact, the in-built iPhone call blocker is useless in the modern world.

Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

Now, on to Truecaller, its pros and cons, and primary features.

Pros:

  • automatically blocks spam calls and text messages;
  • helps you identify unwanted callers;
  • has a simple user interface and pretty design;
  • allows reporting spammers that you and your acquaintances suffered from;
  • lets you find data about suspicious callers in the in-app database;
  • offers additional features and can be used as an instant messenger.

Cons:

  • may mark essential phone numbers as spam;
  • reduces the number of spam calls but doesn’t block 100% of unwanted calls;
  • allows users to add any phone number to the spam phone list, meaning that it can be easily misused (there were cases when users added their exs’ numbers to the database to take revenge or included buddies’ phone numbers in the spam list “just for fun”). Luckily, you can always get your phone number unlisted on the Truecaller website, but it may take them up to 24 hours to remove it.

Call Blocking

Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

Well, the call blocking feature works both automatically and manually. Like many other call blockers for iPhone, Truecaller requires you to turn on Spam Identification and Blocking in the iPhone settings before you start using the app. The utility works in the following way: it identifies the calling number, checks for it in the database, and blocks the number before you pick it up. You can also block specific numbers manually by merely adding a number to your personal blacklist in the app. As for SMS blocking, Truecaller works in a similar way protecting you from spam and scam text messages.

The biggest issue with the call blocking feature is connected with the fact that everybody can mark any phone number as spam in the database. So if another user has marked your bank’s number as spam, you are likely to miss an important call from your bank. According to online reviews, some Truecaller users even miss text messages from 911 or phone calls from mobile carriers like Verizon.

Checking Phone Numbers for Bad Reviews

Other than call blocking, the app provides an ability to enter a suspicious number in the app and check if other users have already reported it. This feature is rather useful since if you’ve missed a call from an unknown number, you can quickly check what category and company this number belongs to. So if Truecaller is installed on your iPhone, there’s no need to search for the data in Google. Additionally, you can look up phone numbers directly from your call history without copying them in the search field.

Instant Messaging

Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

Interestingly, Truecaller also provides typical features of an IM. With the utility, you can text with your friends registered in the app, send media files and even make calls. The app shows you whether your friends are free to talk or busy at the moment so you wouldn’t disturb them at an inappropriate moment. It’s also possible to check more data about your contacts if they shared their details with the app’s database.

Premium Features

Like other AppStore applications, Truecaller provides multiple plans. The premium plan offers more advanced features for Truecaller fans. For example, premium subscribers can check who viewed their Truecaller profile and remove all the app ads. With a paid subscription, you can also get 30 contact requests per month. The so-called Gold subscription is more expensive and provides you with premium support. The free app includes only call blocking and caller identification functions.

Privacy

When it comes to installing a call blocker on your iPhone, privacy is quite a topic of discussion among smartphone users. It’s a well-known fact that call blockers require to access personal data from the device, including all contact names and numbers. Otherwise, call blockers won’t be able to perform their basic functions. And indeed, you may come across complaints that after installing call blocker apps, including Truecaller, users started getting even more telemarketer calls and robocalls. In fact, such reviews look like users’ conjecture since we tend to suspect modern apps in privacy leakage. Anyway, before installing a call blocker, it’s strongly recommended to look through its privacy policy and check how the company protects your data.

According to the Truecaller developers, they never ask for unnecessary permissions. The app requires access to your phone calls logs, permission to manage your phone calls (otherwise, how will it block spam calls?), and access to your contacts. Other permissions (camera, microphone, media) are optional and are necessary for instant messaging features. Additionally, your phone number is always private. By default, when you sign up, your profile data is private to users who search for you by name. Users who use name search will never find your number in the app unless you permit it.

Truecaller: Is It Worth a Try?

The short answer is “sure!”. If you’re flooded with spam calls, this app will help you reduce the number of annoying incoming calls. Additionally, call blocking is free for all Truecaller users, so you can simply install the app and try it at no cost. Truecaller divides all numbers into top spammers, hidden numbers, foreign callers, and numbers that are not in your phone book and allows blocking any of these categories separately. What’s more, the application is easy-to-use and requires you to apply just one setting before installing the app, so it’s suitable even for non-tech savvy users. Truecaller is trusted by millions of people worldwide, so I think it’s undoubtedly worth a try. But I strongly recommend you periodically check the list of blocked phone numbers to ensure that you don’t miss any vitally important calls and texts.

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Janet Paterson

Janet Paterson

Professional copywriter. Interested in tech, coding, HR management.