Spam callers are one of the most annoying first world problems we face, and it can be frustrating trying to figure out which companies are violating the federal Do Not Call list. This is where reverse lookup apps come into play, since they let you get details about who owns the numbers that keep calling and harassing you. Let’s take a look at two of the top contenders in the reverse lookup category, and see which one is the most useful.
Caller Smart Reverse Lookup Phone Book – Community Caller ID and White Pages App
Release date: Jan. 5, 2014
Latest update: 6.0 (April 21, 2015)
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
CallerSmart has taken the approach of making a game out of keeping its U.S. phone book up to date. You can earn points and prizes for updating the phone book or leaving caller feedback. You can use CallerSmart to find out the full name and location behind a mystery number on your Caller ID or investigate a suspicious text message you’ve received.
CallerSmart is community-driven, which can be a great way to handle this sort of app. The phone number database is easily updated as you receive annoying or harassing phone calls, and the game-like nature of the app makes it fun and fresh. The biggest strength behind CallerSmart is definitely the fun that can be had by giving your own feedback about callers, and then unlocking the app’s varied list of badges that correspond to such famous names as Mark Twain and Harriet Tubman. CallerSmart is free to download, and uses in-app purchases to get premium service and number protection for your own phone number. This Premium Number Protection service allows you to monitor your own phone number to see who has been looking for you.
The main weakness I found in CallerSmart was the comprehensiveness of its database. Quite a few numbers that I searched for had no listings, but I was able to find those numbers using other reverse lookup apps and services. Since the app is completely community-driven, this means CallerSmart has not yet reached the popularity needed to have a complete repository of phone number details.
Comprehensiveness of Number Database: ★☆☆☆☆
Total score: 16 out of 20
Number Guru – Reverse Phone & Caller Lookup
Release date: May 17, 2011
Latest update: 1.2.3 (May 16, 2015)
Compatibility: iPhone and iPod touch
Number Guru is one of the most established reverse lookup apps, having been on the App Store since 2011. This app allows you to search through its immense database of phone numbers, which covers almost 100 percent of landlines and approximately half of the cell phones listed. Verizon wireless numbers, unfortunately, are not included. Telemarketers, debt collectors, and toll-free numbers in the U.S. are all included, since federal law makes it mandatory for those callers to disclose their names. The community-driven comment feature lets you get more information about these callers.
Number Guru’s biggest strength lies in its database. It holds information on more than 25 million phone numbers, and has a huge following of commenters. Number Guru is typically the service I turn to when I really want to know who is calling me. It is easy to use, allowing you to just copy and paste the phone number you want to search for, and includes comments from other members to help you identify the type of caller.
The main weakness behind Number Guru is what you have to go through in order to access any search results. You have to either purchase a premium subscription to Number Guru or watch a random number of videos just to see the comments and information about the number. The premium upgrade is $9.99 per year, available through an in-app purchase.
Comprehensiveness of Number Database: ★★★★★
Total score: 18 out of 20
And the winner is …
Both of these apps are very useful tools, but there can only be one winner. Hinging on the completeness of its database, Number Guru is the clear winner here. Caller Smart takes a very unique spin on the reverse lookup genre, with its game-like features, but I use such apps to find out who is calling me, not for entertainment. Since Number Guru has the larger database of numbers, it takes the top spot.
You can download Caller Smart from the App Store for free, and it’s optimized for the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
You can download Number Guru from the App Store for free. It’s also optimized for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6.