busy

Online directory service Truecaller has introduced an ‘availability’ feature on its Truedialer Android app where users can turn their availability to on and off. This feature is available under “Availability” in settings which reads ‘show other Truedialer users that I am busy during phone calls (3G/WiFi needed), calendar events and silent mode’.

Both the users trying to call each other need to set Truedialer as their default calling app for to see these details, implying that the feature will be visible to only other Truedialer users. For now, the feature does not allow the user to set a time during which they will be unavailable. Note that this feature is really just a UI popping up a screen telling a user that the other user is ‘busy’, with alternatives to send SMS, Notify me when free and Call Anyway. For this, it also places a green (available) and red (busy) dot against the contacts of those who have made use of the feature.

Truecaller says on its blog that Truedialer can indicate when the person you’re trying to call is on another call (a feature already made available by telecom operators under ‘waiting calls’), and syncs to the call logs automatically blocking out meeting and appointment times.

21st century problems
At first glance, this seems like a handy feature to have, because why not. Depending on which side you’re on, it could either be seen as someone who has manners, almost polite, telling people when they won’t be available, while the same reason might make them appear uppity, as someone who prefers not to be available during some times, no matter what. Probably it’s most jarring violation of the feature is the third option “call anyway” itself. However, it will be interesting to see its adoption and usage as we go ahead in time.

Funding in the pipeline?
Last month, we reported that the company was looking to raise $100 million in funding from as yet unnamed companies (possibly new and existing investors including Google and Twitter). The funding would value Truecaller at $1 billion and be used to grow the product, expansion and build an office in the US.

Truemessenger SMS app
In July, Truecaller launched an Android messaging app called Truemessenger, which claimed to have an automated spam filter, for the Indian market. Truecaller said that it would roll this app out globally in the near future. Truemessenger would essentially do what Truecaller does for phone calls: identify the sender of the SMS through its claimed 150 million wide user base, especially for contacts outside a user’s phone book.

India user base
In August last year, we reported that more than 50% of Truecaller’s 70 million registered user base was in India, translating to at least 35 million registered users in the country, up from 30 million in April last year.

Our Truecaller coverage here.

Image Credit: Flickr user id iom