Unknown number: “Hey, how are you doing? Long time!”
You: “Umm good. Því miður, I don’t have you saved in my contacts — who is this?”
Unknown number: “What?! How can you not have me in your contacts?”
Sound familiar? You don’t mean to offend that unknown person, but well, you can’t help it. Save yourself the blushes and get Truemessenger, a new text messaging replacement app for Android that identifies unknown numbers (and does other cool stuff).
Every time a new free mobile messaging app releases, everyone starts talking about the death of SMS. Strax, text messaging is still huge, and hey, it’s not going anywhere. Truemessenger knows this and is here to make your messaging app better.
Truemessenger is made by the the people at Truecaller, the publicly-sourced phone book. We have previously said that Truecaller is one of the top 10 Android apps everyone should install first. After spending a few hours with Truemessenger, we reckon that it might also deserve to be on that list.
What Truemessenger Does
Truecaller has two basic objectives:
- Identify unknown numbers.
- Filter spam messages
Identifying Unknown Numbers
Truemessenger uses Truecaller’s phone book database to match phone numbers to people. You will need an active Internet connection, þótt. Truemessenger also prompts you to set it as the default app in Android, but there is no need for this if you don’t want it as the default.
In my testing, I saw the app get the name for every unknown number in my text messages. Admittedly, that was an anomaly, as I have never had the same luck with Truecaller. Like its parent app, Truemessenger probably won’t work every time, but it will work fairly accurately most of the time.
Want to add a name to your phone book? Open the message, tap “Add to Contacts”, and you’ll be taken to your favorite contacts app with the name and number fields already filled in.
Filtering Spam Texts
Text message spam is a big problem, but unfortunately, there is no Gmail-like spam filter for them in most SMS apps. Well, Truemessenger is here to change that.
The first time you start the app, Truemessenger asks you to mark what is spam and what isn’t. Take the time and follow through with this. There’s a simple reason.
In my case, I want text messages from my bank. I don’t want texts from other banks spamming me about their credit cards or “lucrative loans”. By selecting the unwanted banks and not selecting my bank, Truemessenger understood what I wanted. When I got an unwanted spam text from a bank, it smartly filtered the message to Spam. I quickly conducted an online transaction (for which I get text alerts), and that text alert landed in my inbox. Perfect.
Apart from this smart filtering, you can send a message to the spam folder at any time. Plus, Truemessenger also has custom spam filters to block a number, block a series of digits in any phone number, or block a sender by name.
Just for good measure, couple it with some of our tips to stop spam texts forever.
What Truemessenger Does Not Do
While Truemessenger excels at identifying unknown numbers and filtering spam, it is still missing some key features.
- You can’t filter messages to spam based on keywords. So if you don’t want any message that contains the word “realty” or “loan” to land in your inbox, you can’t do that.
- There is no quick reply or replying from notifications, which is a standout feature of many alternative texting apps that allows you to reply without ever leaving your current app.
- While you can use Truemessenger to send photos and videos, you can’t share contacts. You’ll need to rely on old apps to share contacts easily.
- Truemessenger currently does not support Android Wear, so if you picked up an Android smartwatch like the Moto 360, you won’t get texts from Truemessenger on your watch face.
The Elephant in the Room: Privacy
When you start Truemessenger, it asks for your basic details to log in: Your name, your phone number, your email address. This way, Truemessenger (and Truecaller) builds its phone book. It also asks for access to a user’s Contacts, cross-matching it with other users and creating a library of publicly sourced phone numbers.
You get the option of selecting who gets to see these details: friends of friends, only by request, or anyone in the world. That’s the extent of your privacy control in Truemessenger, or in the Truecaller universe at large. It’s not one of those messaging apps that take your privacy seriously.
Apart from the privacy, there’s also the security concern. The app is reading all your text messages, has access to your contacts, and so much more that it’s something to be wary of. Sem betur fer, Truemessenger told Techpp that the app processes data locally and doesn’t transmit messages to their servers. Only the sender’s number is transmitted to their servers.
Can Truemessenger Replace Your Messaging App?
Já, you should install Truemessenger. But should you make it your default messaging app? That depends on how you use text messages.
If you get a lot of spam and are mainly contacted by unknown numbers via text, then Truemessenger is worth it. Personally, that’s exactly what my usage is like, since I mostly use WhatsApp with WhatsApp Web to talk to people I know. If the app is updated with quick reply and contact sharing, then sure, it can even be anyone’s default messaging tool.
þó, if text messaging with your family and friends is a big part of your life, then you’re better off sticking with one of the many great SMS apps for Android. Reyndar, you can even send and check messages on your PC with those.
How to Get Truemessenger
Right now, the app has been released only in the Indian Google Play Store, so Indian users can install it easily.
Those outside India will need to download the APK and manually install or sideload it on their Android phone.
Do You Like Truecaller Apps? Why or Why Not?
This release rounds up the trifecta of basic phone apps from Truecaller: a caller in the form of Truedialer, an SMS handler in the form of Truemessenger, and the original caller identification app that is Truecaller.
Do you use apps from the Truecaller family? Are you okay with the privacy concerns as a trade-off for their convenience? Let us know in the comments!