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Truecaller Hits 1 Million Premium Subscribers, Adds New Spam Blocking Features

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Spam blocking smartphone application, Truecaller, has surpassed the milestone of 1 million paying customers globally and added advanced new spam blocking features to help keep intruders away.

Truecaller Hits Milestone of 1 Million Premium Subscribers, Adds New Spam Blocking Features
Spam blocker

The milestone was revealed in a tweet by Truecaller’s official twitter account celebrating the company’s achievement.

Expressing his delight on the growth of the company, Alan Mamedi, CEO & co-founder, Truecaller, said he was happy and proud that their users valued the benefit of their premium service.

We are happy to see this growth, and it makes us proud that users value the benefits of our Premium features. We are also excited to announce these new upgrades that will help us add even more value to our growing Premium users and help them make their communication more safe and efficient.Alan Mamedi, CEO & Co-founder, Truecaller

Founded by Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam in 2009, Truecaller’s features enable voice-calls, call-blocking, caller-identification, call-recording, flash messaging and chats.

Truecaller Hits Milestone of 1 Million Premium Subscribers, Adds New Spam Blocking Features
Truecaller mobile interface

The app’s most popular features are its spam blocking and caller identification features. And apparently, frustration with an increase in the number of robot calls has caused more people to turn to Truecaller. By January 2017, Truecaller had reached 250 million users worldwide.

Truecaller’s main features like Caller ID and Spam blocking are free. But premium subscription provides an added array of features that give users an upgraded advantage against spammers.

Some of the features available to premium subscribers are an ad-free experience; notification when someone views your profile; call recording and playback for important conversations (Not available in Android 9 and above); contact requests to people outside your network; a premium badge to affect a professional look when you call someone.

Truecaller Hits Milestone of 1 Million Premium Subscribers, Adds New Spam Blocking Features
Truecaller adds new features

And it gets even better. To celebrate hitting 1 million premium subscribers, Truecaller has now added some powerful features like auto-update the ever-growing top spammers list powered by Truecaller; auto-block the top spammer list in your region; auto-block hidden and foreign numbers; block numbers that are not in your phonebook; block 140 series telemarketers (India users only) to their premium package. 

Truecaller Hits Milestone of 1 Million Premium Subscribers, Adds New Spam Blocking Features
Identify your neighbour with Truecaller

Truecaller Premium is currently offered worldwide at an 80% discount for the first 3 months globally for all new subscribers.

Truecaller’s mission to help make communication safe and efficient is laudable. This recent milestone is an indication that they are doing something right, which is why more people are subscribing.

Source: https://technext.ng/2019/09/03/truecaller-hits-1-million-premium-subscribers-adds-new-spam-blocking-features/

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Apple should be supporting education, not attacking competition

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While launching a $2,300 laptop, Apple’s Schiller says Chromebooks won’t help students succeed

At the end of an interview with CNET‘s Roger Cheng, Apple’s Phil Schiller, the interim Head of Communications since Apple’s VP of Comms left abruptly in September, took a swipe at Chromebooks. While touting the specific benefits of the Swift Playground and other Apple-specific educational features available on the iPad, Schiller made the off-hand claim that Chromebooks were being used mostly as testing tools and that students who rely on Chromebooks would be less likely to succeed.

There is attacking your competition, and then there is attacking your competition’s customers. This is neither of those. This is an Apple executive predicting doom for school children who use a competing platform and any of the dozens of devices that operate it. Schiller’s logic supposes that if you buy Chromebooks for your students, then you only care about testing and you aren’t buying the cutting-edge learning tools that will help kids achieve their best results. Ergo, they will not succeed, to paraphrase.

Futuresource Ed Purchases

Source: Edweek

Education is a competitive market, and Apple is not doing well. In the U.S., Chromebooks dominate sales while Apple is slipping. Last year, Chromebooks grabbed 60% of mobile computer sales for education, while Apple slipped from 19.5% to 17.7%, according to an Edweek report on Futuresource Consulting). If you remember a time when schools were dominated by Apple II desktops and stout Mac Classics, then you either remember Apple’s heyday (or you more likely lived in an affluent school district).

The truth is that the education market doesn’t have the time or patience for petty squabbles between platform spokespeople. Schiller’s jabs at Chromebooks are not meant for education buyers, they are meant for business market analysts and media. Educators don’t have the luxury of making buying decisions or comparing the benefits of iPad OS versus Chrome OS. They simply need more technology — in school, in the home — everywhere.

The education market doesn’t have the time or patience for petty squabbles.

In 2017, Futuresource said the sub-$300 computer segment accounted for 68.5% of the education market. The vast majority of classroom computers need to be cheap, first and foremost. Without debating the total cost, it’s easy to see that Apple is targeting the initial pricing as it launched its iPad 10.2 tablet, landing in this price range with education bulk discounts. Still, unlike Chromebooks, the iPad also needs a keyboard, and maybe a pen.

Schiller doubled-down on this line of attack later in the day on Twitter. In promoting the CNET story, which promoted Apple’s responsive design team and the new flagship professional laptop, Schiller again implied that Apple’s competitor only cares about helping students take a test, not about real success.

Philip Schiller@pschiller

Every child has the ability to succeed — helping them to do that has always been our mission. In the full conversation with CNET, we discussed giving kids and teachers the content, curriculum and tools they need to learn, explore and grow. Not just to take a test.9279:48 PM – Nov 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy436 people are talking about this

It’s not the best time for Schiller to be making attacks that paint his competitor as a cause of student failure. While there is certainly market share to be gained by stealing sales from Chromebooks, there is an even larger opportunity to help the remainder of the market that is behind in all technology, whether it be iPadOS, Chrome OS, Windows, or otherwise.

Unfortunately, these disparities fall on familiar socio-economic fault lines. Rich suburban communities are ahead of poor communities in terms of technology access. If you are a student in a family with an income below the poverty threshold (around $25,000), there is a 20% chance that you have no broadband internet access at home and possibly no dial-up option. An eighth-grader who is eligible for a free school lunch is five times more likely to have never used a computer than students whose higher income level excludes them from free lunches. Wealthier 12th graders surveyed in 2015 were 50% more likely to have seen their first computer in Kindergarten than their lower-income peers.

Educators are scrappy and work with whatever resources they can muster.

As a former full-time high school teacher, I used Chromebooks, iPads, MacBooks, Windows laptops, and more. They all do well for education, but at the same time, maybe none of them work at all. Some of the highest-profile technology buying programs have produced lackluster results. Still, no educator is suggesting we give up technology.

Educators are scrappy and work with whatever resources they can muster. Until every student has equitable access to technology, I’d rather see technology executives offering ideas for helping technology work together to help students succeed, rather than threatening our students with failure if they use the wrong laptop.

Source; https://www.androidcentral.com/apple-should-be-supporting-education-not-attacking-competition

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Apple TV+’s head of scripted and unscripted shows has left the company

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Apple has lost one its streaming service’s top personnel, just a couple of weeks after TV+ went live. According to Deadline, Kim Rozenfeld, the head of current scripted programming and unscripted content for Apple TV+, has stepped down from his position. Deadline’s report didn’t expound on the circumstances behind Rozenfeld’s departure, but it did say that he signed a first-look deal with Apple for his production company, Half Full Studios. His LinkedIn page also says he left Apple this month, and that he has a “development, producing and consultant deal with Apple TV+ for scripted and documentary series” under his company.

Rozenfeld was one of the first people from Sony TV that Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht (former Sony TV heads) hired when they went to Apple. There was clearly a shift of some sort in the division after launch, though it’s still unclear what that means for TV+. Now that he’s exited, the service will combine its development and current programming teams under a single group of executives. Matt Cherniss, who was Rozenfeld’s counterpart as head of scripted development, will now also head up the service’s current scripted series team.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/12/apple-tv-kim-rozenfeld-steps-down/

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Apple pulls app that let you stalk people you follow on Instagram

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In October, Instagram phased out the “Following” tab. That’s because it shared a lot of information about what your friends and the people you follow were doing on the social network — maybe too much — and Instagram said some people were surprised their activity was showing up there. And now, the company is apparently keeping others from re-creating that idea: Apple has removed Like Patrol from the App Store, according to CNET.

At the end of October, Instagram sent a cease-and-desist letter to Like Patrol, an app described by its maker as the Following tab “on steroids,” and on Saturday, Apple reportedly removed it from its iOS marketplace entirely.

Like Patrol went beyond the Following tab in some potentially creepy ways, with a number of features that could let users stalk someone’s behavior on Instagram without them knowing. CNET reports that the app could notify you if someone you followed interacted with a post from a man or a woman, for example, and the app’s makers apparently claimed to “have an algorithm to detect if they were posts from attractive people.”

CNET reports Like Patrol was able to track Instagram users by scraping their public profiles for data — which violates Instagram’s policies, according to a Facebook spokesperson who spoke with CNET in October. Apple told CNET it removed Like Patrol for violating the company’s guidelines, but didn’t explain further.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/11/20959419/apple-instagram-like-patrol-app-following-tab|

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