In Summary

Truecaller is the most popular caller identification and spam blocking app on Android and iPhone worldwide. It’s been constantly updated with new features over the years to increase its effectiveness at fending off spam calls and messages from fraudsters, telemarketers, and spammers. In a recent update, Truecaller has now introduced a major feature called Truecaller Assistant, which improves call filtering by screening incoming calls on your behalf to help you determine whether you should answer them or not.

Aside from the fact that it’s exceptionally well at identifying and blocking spam, part of the reason for Truecaller’s success also lies in the fact that it’s been constantly updated over the years to increase its effectiveness at fending off spam calls and messages from fraudsters, telemarketers, and spammers. Keeping up with the formula, Truecaller’s now introduced another major update to its app in the form of an AI-based assistant. It’s called Truecaller Assistant, and the idea behind it is to help you identify which calls are important to you and which ones are spam without requiring you to pick them up. Let’s dive in to understand Truecaller Assistant in detail.

What Is Truecaller Assistant?

Truecaller Assistant is an AI-powered call screening service that screens phone calls on your behalf to help you determine if a call’s worth picking up or not based on who’s calling and the purpose of the call. It’s somewhat similar to the Call Screening feature in the Google Phone app. However, unlike Call Screening (which was released a long time ago and is still available only in select regions and is limited mostly to Pixel phones), Truecaller has brought the Assistant to almost all Android and iOS devices. A side note: Assistant has been developed by the CallHero team, a company acquired by Truecaller earlier this year. The service is being rolled out in the US first – primarily because the partnerships that enable Assistant were already in place for the US. Truecaller has promised that the Assistant will make its way to more regions and in more languages very soon. On the flip side, though, Truecaller Assistant is a paid feature. So, if you wish to use the Assistant on your device, you’ll need to upgrade to Truecaller Premium. Alternatively, if you’re just starting out with Truecaller, you can use the Assistant risk-free during the 14-day free trial period.

How Does Truecaller Assistant Work?

Truecaller Assistant relies primarily on AI for a large part of its operation. It leverages the power of machine learning, speech-to-text, and natural language processing for screening calls: picking up the call on your behalf, asking who’s calling and why, and giving you a transcription of the conversation, so you can decide if you want to take the call or not. Essentially, this works because you first need to set up the Truecaller Assistant on your device. You can choose from different voices with different styles and personalities during setup.

On iPhone, when there’s an incoming call on your phone, and you choose to decline it or leave it unanswered, it gets forwarded to the Truecaller Assistant. On Android, you will get a button that says, “let the Assistant take the call.” The Assistant then picks it up and asks the caller for their identity and the reason for calling.

When the caller responds, the Assistant, using AI, tries to filter the information provided by the caller to identify (with more than 90% accuracy) if the call is spam or not. While this happens, the Assistant also screens the caller’s answers to you using voice-to-text technology. At this point, you can choose to take over the call, mark it as spam, or inquire more about the caller through the chat window. A chat with a Truecaller spokesperson revealed that the Assistant is just the start when it comes to these cloud telephony services. People using the Assistant can look forward to some interesting upcoming features like call recording (which would even work on iPhone) and full-text transcripts of a conversation (for example, if you’re interviewing over the phone).

What Prompted the Need for Truecaller Assistant?

Truecaller’s core objective has always been to improve the communication experience for users by identifying and blocking spam calls and messages. However, while it’s managed to achieve this quite effectively on Android, the same hasn’t been true for iOS due to its various restrictions that prevented Truecaller from deploying the caller identification and spam blocking functionality to their full capabilities. It’s precisely for this reason that Truecaller acquired CallHero earlier this year. CallHero, for the uninitiated, was the first AI-powered digital assistant app that helped users screen calls through a digital assistant so they could decide if they wanted to take the call or not based on who called and the reason for calling, without picking it up themselves. Truecaller says it’s the way CallHero implemented the call screening feature that opened up the possibilities for even better caller identification and spam blocking on the iPhone despite its restrictions. And it’s this approach that prompted CallHero’s acquisition, which eventually became Truecaller Assistant. Of course, Truecaller isn’t just limiting the Assistant to the iPhone only. It brings the Assistant to Android as well, giving its users a reason to rejoice as they can now finally get the call screening functionality on their phones, which Google once promised through its Call Screen feature but failed to bring to the masses.

When Will the Truecaller Assistant Be Available?

Truecaller has launched the Assistant on the Truecaller app in the US for both Android and iPhone users. It’s available as part of the Truecaller Premium subscription and requires you to upgrade to Truecaller Premium to use it on your device. Currently, the Assistant is available only in English, but Truecaller plans to add support for more languages as it rolls out the feature to more countries soon. Considering that Indian users constitute ~73% of the total Truecaller users globally, bringing Truecaller Assistant to its users in India is imperative for the company, and we expect it to happen sooner than later.