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Truecaller reintroduces call recording for premium users

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

On Android, users can directly use Truecaller’s dialer to start a recording call. If they are using another dialer, Truecaller will show a floating recording 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 confirmed that the other person on the call will hear a beep to indicate the call is being recorded.

Notably, Truecaller introduced call recording to premium users on Android in 2018 and expanded to all Android users in 2021. However, in 2022, Google limited access to its Accessibility API, which a lot of apps — including Truecaller — used to record calls. So the company had to remove the feature from its apps.

The company said that apart from call recording, it will also provide transcripts to users — a feature it plans to roll out in the next few weeks. Additionally, users will be able to search through transcripts to easily find information in the recorded conversations.

Raphael Mimoun, Cloud Telephony Product Director at the company, told TechCrunch over a call that all recordings and transcripts will be stored on the device and Truecaller won’t store any data in the cloud.

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

Truecaller’s approach is not unique. Solutions like RecMycalls and Tapeacall have used similar ways to record calls. The Swedish company says that storing data locally and not gathering any user info is where its method charts a new path.

In 2022, the Indian magazine The Caravan published a story claiming that Truecaller collected users’ data without their consent. The company later denied these allegations in a statement.

Truecaller has been testing 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 now offers three plans in the U.S: a basic ad-free plan ($1 per month), a premium plan with call recording ($3.99 per month), a top-tier plan with call screening assistant ($4.49 per month).

Image Credits: Truecalller

Nami Zarringhalam, Truecaller’s co-founder, said that the company aims to roll out this feature in multiple countries including India, which is its biggest market. Additionally, it is 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 helped you book appointments. At that time, the company said it built the bot to have it sound natural.

Zarringhalam said that the company is cleaning up its subscription tiers and have started thinking about how to offer different levels with features that make sense for the user at each price point.

Truecaller has more than half a million users in the U.S. — and the company said 10% are on some kind of subscription plan. The company has over 350 million users globally with India being its biggest market with 100 million users. In its latest earnings report, the company said it saw an 18% jump in subscribers year on year. These results indicated that despite growth in paid users, subscriptions accounted for around 12% of the company’s revenue with advertising bringing in the majority of the money.

Truecaller reintroduces call recording for premium users by Ivan Mehta originally published on TechCrunch

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