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Truecaller brings universal caller ID to iOS through a workaround

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Truecaller, the Swedish reverse-lookup phone directory, has expanded its Live Caller ID feature to its iOS app, allowing users to quickly look up unknown numbers from the home screen, the company announced on Tuesday.

While Truecaller’s Live Caller ID feature has been available on Android since 2010, it’s much more difficult to integrate on iOS because Apple’s platform does not let apps intercept calls. This means Truecaller had to find a workaround, but it’s a fairly innocuous one: When you receive a phone call from a number you don’t recognize, you simply take a screenshot of the call. Truecaller references that screenshot against its database of phone numbers, and then Siri reads out the name.

The demo video is short and sweet:

Speaking to TechCrunch, Truecaller CEO Alan Mamedi expressed a hope that Truecaller could gain access to Apple’s calling APIs in the future, to make the process a little less kludgy. While that seems unlikely, there’s no denying that the company has some momentum recently: it raised nearly $19 million from Sequoia Capital in February, and it wants you to know it’s a big deal in India.

3 Responses to “Truecaller brings universal caller ID to iOS through a workaround”

  1. Oh no, this means my brother may not have to call me every time a number calls him that he doesn’t know! What a shame this would be… Not! Thanks so much, I am sure this will prove to be beneficial to many!

  2. roethlisberger

    On Verizon, for example, this probably won’t work – a voice call overrides the data connection.

    However, they (and maybe the other telcos) now sell the same caller ID lookup that is available on landlines. Look for “Caller ID for Mobile Devices” in your features list for $3.99/mo, it does the lookup for you. Even on iOS.