Truecaller, once a mere anti-voice-spam service, these days wants to become a “search engine for contacts” – and venture capitalists are buying into that vision with serious funding. Now, just weeks after raising $60 million, the company is skipping down its chosen path with the release of a new app called Truedialer.
The app, initially available for Android only, is … well, a dialer – but also a full-on replacement for the user’s existing contacts app.
It basically taps into the enormous database of phone numbers that Truecaller has amassed through its original service — via deals with phonebook providers and third parties like Yelp and Twitter, but also via users uploading their contacts books — to beef up the contact information shown in call logs. As users type in numbers, the app searches both Truecaller’s database and the user’s contact list for autocomplete options.
Truedialer also incorporates complementary functionality to that of the original Truecaller app: While Truecaller tells you if an incoming call is from a known spammer, Truedialer will warn you if you’re dialing a dodgy number. A spokesman for the Swedish company told me that the two apps were being kept separate in order to make Truedialer “a very light product initially” – of course, functionality will be added over time. By the way, he stressed that the firm doesn’t store any call data coming out of Truedialer.
Truecaller has seen really tremendous growth — there are more than a billion numbers in that database — and, while Truedialer gets to reap the fruits of that expansive adoption, I’m not really sure that it will replicate the Truecaller app’s success. People found value in a service that helped them identify nuisance callers, but I’ll need convincing that people are so dissatisfied with their existing dialers that they want an alternative. Truecaller’s convinced that there’s a market for an evolution of the phonebook, though, so let’s see.