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It’s frustrating to get a call from an unknown number, only for it to be a telemarketer or anyone you want to avoid. If you knew who that number belonged to, you’d never pick up. That’s just one of the things Truecaller does to make it the best contacts and dialer app for Android.

Truecaller is free to download, but supported by ads. You can pay to unlock the ads, but the app is fully functional without it.

Download: Truecaller for Android (Free)

What Makes Truecaller Special

When you install Truecaller, it asks for permission to read and upload your address book to its server. Once it has your contacts, it matches those with its own database. By doing this action with millions of its users, Truecaller has built a powerful database of people’s phone numbers.

Control Your Info: The database also lets users add their own information to it. So if you want a Truecaller user to find you easily, you can save your name and number in it, and switch access to “Public”. It’s the equivalent of listing your phone number in an old-school phone book. By default, only friends of your friends will be able to take advantage of what’s in your address book.

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Identify Anything: So when you get a call from a number you don’t have saved, the app will identify the caller with this “friends of your friends” database. The database also works with missed calls, and numbers you copy to your clipboard. Similarly, when you manually dial a number, Truecaller will identify it. All of these require an active internet connection.

Texts, WhatsApp, Viber, and More: Apart from phone calls, Truecaller also identifies unknown numbers from text messages, WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Telegram. In fact, its sister app, Truemessenger, is excellent to identify numbers and block spam texts Identify Unknown Numbers and Block Spam Text Messages with Truemessenger for Android Identify Unknown Numbers and Block Spam Text Messages with Truemessenger for Android Truemessenger is a fantastic new app for sending and receiving text messages, and it can tell you who an unknown number is and block spam. Read More .

Search for a Business: Need to find the number of a popular restaurant in your city, or get the number of a service provider? The search feature is like the Yellow Pages. Several businesses identify themselves publicly on Truecaller. So searching for something like “Sony service center” will give you that business’s phone number, in all likelihood. Yup, it’s the smart dialer app Truedialer Looking For A Smart Dialer App For Android? Truedialer Delivers Looking For A Smart Dialer App For Android? Truedialer Delivers Truedialer, a new app from Truecaller, can show you what unknown number you're about to call and can greatly improve the calling experience on your Android device. Read More , now available as a part of Truecaller itself.

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Auto-block Spammers: If a known spammer is trying to call you, Truecaller will automatically reject the call. The crowdsourced block list of spammers is updated regularly, and you can manually allow some numbers.

“Last Seen” Status: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other apps tell you when someone was last online. Similarly, you can see when fellow Truecaller users were last on a call, or if they’re busy right now. It’s an enormously helpful feature.

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Easily Add Numbers: Truecaller also makes it amazingly easy to update your address book. Often, an unknown number who calls you is a person you know, but rarely talk to. You figure, “Why should I go through the hassle of saving this number to my address book?” Until the next time they call, or you need to call them, and you regret your laziness. But Truecaller minimizes the effort required to save a number, by already adding the caller’s name and other information. In two taps, you can save it.

Contact Actions: Your own contacts get simple to manage too. Long-press on any contact to get a quick menu of shortcut actions. This includes some useful options like editing the number before you call.

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Speed Dial and T9: You can add nine speed dial contacts, where you can long-press the number on the pad as a shortcut for calling someone. It also supports T9 dictionary input, which is faster to use at times.

Where Truecaller Falters

No app is perfect, and Truecaller naturally has some flaws. Apart from not working when you’re offline, here are common issues with the app.

Privacy Worries: If you’re uploading your address book to Truecaller’s servers, that’s a big privacy concern for many people 3 Ways Technology Can Be Used To Limit Your Privacy & Freedoms 3 Ways Technology Can Be Used To Limit Your Privacy & Freedoms Consumer technology is loaded with tools that can be used to record your habits, and use this data to target you with personalised adverts. How can the same tech impact privacy and limit your freedoms? Read More . So far, Truecaller has done everything it can to ensure this data is protected. It now takes only the phone number, address book name, and email address from your Contacts. You can read their full privacy policy online.

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No Custom Contact Ringtones: Truecaller isn’t really missing any major features apart from this one. And it’s a big miss too. You can’t set a custom ringtone for a contact through the app. So if you made a custom Android ringtone Create Your Own Android Ringtones On Your Phone, No Computer Needed! Create Your Own Android Ringtones On Your Phone, No Computer Needed! Mobile phones have been around for a long time, starting with the massive phones that were bigger than your head, to the flip phones, to the slider phones, to what we have now: smartphones. Yet... Read More for your spouse, look elsewhere.

Data and Battery: Like with so many Android apps, Truecaller is always working in the background. That means it is taking up precious battery and using mobile data. It’s advisable to set the app to update profiles and the block list while on Wi-Fi only.

The Best Alternative

If any of these missing features are a deal-breaker for you, then there are a few good alternatives to Truecaller.

Ready

Ready is the only contacts app that you should consider instead of Truecaller, in my opinion. That’s mainly because its purpose is entirely different. Truecaller is about being more than your address book. Ready maximizes the address book you already have.

The app shows a contact bubble when someone calls you. This bubble shows your recent conversations, or important information like the caller’s birthday. Once your call is finished, another bubble lets you add notes and other details to the contact card. It’ll be helpful to hold a successful conference call How To Hold A Successful Conference Call On Your iPhone How To Hold A Successful Conference Call On Your iPhone Conference calling on your iPhone is basically a single-tap process, but there are other features you should know about to make the process easier to manage. Read More .

Ready is a one-stop hub for everything to know about one of your contacts. You can also directly start WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger calls or messages from within the app.

Ready’s other features, like ringtones, are hidden behind the Pro account. You can unlock those by sharing the app on social networks, or pay a small fee.

Download: Ready for Android (Free)

Everything else pales in comparison to Truecaller or Ready, but you can try them out for yourself.

Sync.Me: Like Truecaller, but has more annoying ads. It syncs your contact’s social networks to make your address book a social hub. You can safely dump Facebook’s Truecaller alternative, Hello Facebook Hello vs. TrueCaller: Which Is the Best Caller ID and Dialer App for Android? Facebook Hello vs. TrueCaller: Which Is the Best Caller ID and Dialer App for Android? Facebook Hello is here -- the new caller ID and dialer app for Android. But how does it stack up against the competition? Read More .

Addappt: Reverse-engineers the address book. This time, when you update your own information with a new phone number or email address, Addappt will automatically push that to your contacts’ address books. The only catch is they need to be using Addappt too.

Contacts+: Our previous pick for the best contacts app is still a solid choice that does the basics perfectly. But well, it’s just the basics.

Are You Worried About Truecaller’s Privacy?

While Truecaller is the best contacts and dialer app, several users are afraid of its privacy implications. “It seems so intrusive,” is the most common refrain. Are you concerned about the privacy implications, or are you happy to install Truecaller and get a smart address book?

Originally written by Mihir Patkar on March 4th, 2014.

  1. Sean R Kethcart
    November 13, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I'm a big fan of CallApp. Social media integration, spam block, auto ID of business, crowd-sourced number ID, pretty much everything discussed in this article. Ad supported, but non intrusive. I pay for the ad free.

  2. Robin
    March 1, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Also, as of the latest upgrade, the first item in the conversation list is a constantly-changing ad. In order to get rid of the ad, you have to upgrade to a paying version. Needless to say, I am now using Handcent's Next SMS. Annoying to have to do this -- I loved Contacts+ before... Oh, well...

  3. MrGrumpy
    January 1, 2016 at 12:14 am

    No more social media integration. The main reason for this app no longer exists. Very disappointing.

  4. Jay
    April 9, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    'QuiCall - Contact Dialer' is by far the best app i saw for quickly dialing your contacts.
    And believe me, I tried them all..

  5. Alin-Alexandru
    January 30, 2015 at 8:33 am

    The app twist my contacts all around... Instead of merging some contact it has created severs other contacts, i don't know why... Even now i discover several things edited by the app in contacts details messing up other applications dependable of the contacts.
    The good thing about the app is that remains slim and fast usable even after sinc with facebook and google. But...

  6. prime
    January 23, 2015 at 6:23 am

    One Ring to rule them all
    #LOTR Forever

  7. John
    January 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Agreed, wonderful app, but I have some gripes:

    I'd like Contact+ more if I could use an external texting (SMS) app. I like Textra because of the colorful icons and large text size.

    Contact+ doesn't seem to be loading Facebook friends' photos until I click on the contact.

    Again I could do without the built-in dialer when Android L has a perfectly capable one.

    More customization would be also nice: background color, text size, layout, etc.

    I just don't like giving over so much control to this one app.

  8. Pranav
    December 29, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Moved on from S5 to stock Android kitkat4.4.4. Looking for a contact app and based on your review inclined to try contact+. Sorely miss one feature in stock Android dialer app. Galaxy S5 throws up last dial details and last sms from the caller on the incoming call screen. This makes it easy to recognise the caller if you don't have it saved in contacts. People in marketing field find this very handy as its very inconvenient to store all the callers seeking product details. will contact+ provide the last sms and call details of the caller on incoming call screen? If not, do you recommend any other app for this feature?

    • Mihir Patkar
      December 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Sorry no, Contacts+ doesn't do that. I'll check around and let you know about an alternative :)

  9. gigi
    June 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Fully featured Call Manager with Dialer, Contact List (Address Book) and Infinite Call History
    Unlimited Call Log is the most complete and stable Dialer & Call Log replacement app.

    http://goo.gl/aGhLlO

  10. Stephen
    June 11, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Tried this and did like it but you couldnt group sms from it to my sms app. Has this changed?? Thats a deal breaker for me. Was using Go Contacts but that appears to falling behind now too :-( looking at new ones at the mo!

  11. minukobba
    May 22, 2014 at 7:20 am

    There is another nice contacts app.
    wowcontact
    http://goo.gl/TMu6mH
    new style, fun, easy !

  12. gizmoguy19
    April 28, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I use an app called Contakts. It is relatively new but offers an incredible user interface and bit of personal analytics for your contacts. It also has minimal facebook integration and is incredibly easy to use.

  13. Pnyx
    April 20, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Any Contact app that cannot sort by company is a waste of time for the business user. This one is a waste of time in spite of the 'cute' interface.

  14. Alf
    March 19, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Before I select a dialer/contacts app, I am furious that if someone sends me a message like:

    "Please call Fred Smith on 0400 123 456"

    The standard messenger, when I press on the message, wants me to select one of these numbers to call:

    Choose Action
    [phone icon] 0400
    [phone icon] 123
    [phone icon] 456
    Cancel

    This is bloody annoying that:
    1. I cannot add Fred Smith as a contact
    2. I cannot call 0400123456
    3. I cannot save 0400123456 as a number

    Do any of the dialer/contact apps that you reviewed have smarter message handling?

  15. Matjaž M
    March 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I've been using it few months. Very satisfied with it.

  16. Todd
    March 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    how do you work through duplicate contacts manually? I like this app and its social integration. However, I have 7 different "barry taylors" and it will not go away. (common name so I don't mind sharing it...). I have worked through the duplicate contact engine and sync functionality over and over again and do not know what to do. Perhaps I need a better understanding of how they bring all contact information together. I want GMAIL to be the default and everything to sync to that if that is how it works...

  17. Broon
    March 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Definitely a top app! should be on the best android apps IMO

    • glen
      July 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      agree....a must have app

  18. Dave
    March 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I prefer maintaining my contacts via my desktop computer, then accessing them on my Android phone and iPad. I would be very interested in this app if it was connected with a web-based interface. If this app/vendor does not have that, what is your suggestion for me?

    • Andrés
      March 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      I just use my phone's default Contacts app that synchronizes with Google Services, then manage my contacts on my desktop computer on Gmail.

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