I used to be one of those people who only used Truecaller as a caller ID. Recently, Google's stock Phone app was leaving me frustrated. I finally swapped the Phone app icon for the Truecaller app. And I'm glad I did. Once I started using Truecaller and customised it to my liking, I was able to fly through the app. And once you start using the app, you realise that Truecaller is so much more than a caller ID. Read about the little features and customisation in Truecaller that will make it worth your while.
1. Three apps in one
When you install Truecaller app, you'll find shortcuts to Dialer, Messages, and Contacts on your Home screen. But they're all part of the same app. This means that although you can use the different shortcuts to quickly get to the features, you can also quickly jump between them from within the app.
After you open the Truecaller app, you'll find that you're in the Phone section (with the phone icon in the bottom highlighted). To switch to the Messages section, tap on the message bubble icon in the bottom-left. Similarly, the Contacts icon is in the bottom-right corner.
2. Enable SMS filtering
The SMS spam situation in India is pretty bad. If you've signed up for even a couple of apps using your phone number, you're going to be inundated with spam. It's worse if you have a demat account and you trade in shares or you have mutual funds. Truecaller's SMS spam filtering is the best there is on Android (at least for India).
Once you've turned the feature on, you'll find two sections at the top of Messages - Inbox and Spam.
When you get a message that's clearly spam, you can mark it as a such right from the notification, and block the number. Similarly, if Truecaller has wrongly identified a message as Spam (this often happens with delivery update messages from Flipkart and Amazon), just tap on the Not Spam button from the bottom of the conversation.
3. Customise the phone UI
When you're using Truecaller as your dialler of choice, you'll spend most of the time in the Phone section. Unfortunately, the default behaviour of this section leaves a bit to be desired. Thankfully, we can tweak some settings and use swipe gestures to make things work faster.
First, when you see a contact in the list, swipe left on it to directly call the number. Swipe right to send them a message. This itself is a huge time saver.
You'll also find a horizontally scrolling contacts list at the top. This is the equivalent of a favourites bar you find in most dialler apps. In Truecaller, it's populated automatically and changes based on your usage. Tapping on a contact here directly calls them. Tap and hold on a contact icon here and select Pin (contact name) to make sure the important numbers are always at your fingertips.
There's one more small tweak you can use to avoid misdials. Go to Settings > General > Tap in call history, and set it to View Profile. This vastly reduces the chances of a misdial. Plus, you get quick access to all numbers for the contact (including WhatsApp), viewing the number's call history, and the option of blocking it.
4. Scan numbers using the camera
Number Scanner is a genius little feature. When you open the sidebar (by swiping in from the left side of the screen), you'll see little preview at the top. Tap on it, give it camera access and now just point the camera towards any written number. This can be on the screen, or on paper, Truecaller will instantly recognise the number and if it corresponds to a contact in its database, you'll see those details as well. You'll get an option to call that number, or to save it.
5. Change the theme If you have an Android phone with OLED display (or if you're generally a fan of dark modes), you'll like Truecaller's dark themes. From Settings, select Appearance to get started. There are a number of different options apart from the blue and white theme that's there by default.
6. Tweak settings
From the General section in Settings, you can toggle off the Flash messaging feature, and disable your availability as well (the status which shows when you're on call or your phone is on silent mode). This should help cut down on the data people can see, and the number of notifications you get.
Scroll below, and disable the Remind me of missed calls feature for some added peace of mind, and freedom from notifications.
7. First, Upgrade to Premium
This is my personal pet peeve but I couldn't use Truecaller multiple times a day until I got rid of all ads. And Truecaller Premium makes this a worthy proposition. For Rs. 30/month (or Rs. 270/year) you can get rid of all ads, and get access to premium features like increased limit on phone number lookups.
Bonus: Poke around
Truecaller is filled with ancillary features you might not associate with Truecaller. For example, you can send money to any Truecaller user using UPI. There's also an integration for directly video calling someone using Google Duo.
Once you've customised Truecaller using the above tips, you'll find that the app is a no longer frustrating to use. What do you think of Truecaller on Android? How have you customised the app? Tell us, via the comments below.