Open letter to Reverse Lookup users

For over 8 years now, we’ve been working hard to make Reverse Lookup one of the highest rated apps in our field. As we always say, our success is entirely built on our users, and for that we cannot thank you enough.

Through these years, we’ve always been exceedingly careful to protect your personal information and we’ve never taken the questionable shortcuts that other similar apps have sometimes taken. We’ve always been upfront about our use of sensitive permissions, and in return our app has become very successful and loved by our users with a ★★★★ rating as of this writing.

Unfortunately, you may have recently heard that Google has decided to severely clamp down on the use of call log permissions – not in Android – but rather in the Play Store itself. We don’t believe this is a good decision by Google, or at least not in the form that we see it today. While certain types of applications, like ours, are specifically outlined as acceptable, we have not yet been able to receive an approval from Google due to some unclear requirements and an inability to reach a human for guidance.

While the original deadline for these changes was January 9th, we believe that we have at least obtained an extension to settle the matter until early March, but even this isn’t entirely clear.

We want our users to know that no matter what happens, we’ll do our best to make sure that Reverse Lookup will live on. In the past few days, we’ve begun preparing for a scenario where we may not be able to show you your own calls within the app, and we hope that any users this affects will take advantage of these options.

Here’s what we’re doing right now:

  1. We’re expanding our publishing outreach to the Amazon Appstore and elsewhere. We already have our paid version of Reverse Lookup live on Amazon, and the free version should be posted there in the coming days. These versions of the app are not affected by Google’s decision.
  2. We’re going to offer our free version for direct download from our website.
  3. If necessary, we will continue hosting the app on Google Play, without the call log permissions. The app will still function, but you won’t be able to choose a call from the main screen anymore. You’ll still be able to share phone numbers to the app from your call log, web browser, or other apps. We will soon be posting a detailed blog post outlining all of the ways to use Reverse Lookup as well as publishing a video on our Youtube channel.
  4. We’re exploring the possibility of offering a helper application/plugin from our website, that would work independently of the Play Store version of the app, in order to restore the missing functionality. This helper application would work with both the free and paid versions of Reverse Lookup
  5. We’ve established our first email list, so that users who want to make sure they receive all the latest information can stay informed – social media posts can be very easy to miss. The list is powered by MailChimp and will always have an easy unsubscribe if you later decide you don’t want to receive our messages. You can sign up on our web page, or on our Facebook page by clicking the “Updates By Email” link on the left hand side. If you do not want to sign up for email updates, be sure to pay close attention to our Facebook, Twitter, or web pages for updates and communication.

Ultimately, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to work this out with Google and none of this will be necessary. We also hope that a solution is reached for all of the other developers and their users who will be affected by this. We completely understand the thinking behind tightening this access, but the fact of the matter is that there are many legitimate reasons to use the data… and it’s always behind a permission, so it always comes down to being the user’s own choice.. until this week, at least.

If left as is, this decision will lead to the elimination of many useful Android applications.

Thank you for reading, and as always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

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New Free Android Game: Christmas Word Search

We’re happy to announce the release of our latest free Android game, Christmas Word Search!

christmas word search android game

The game is just what you’d expect – a perfect “coffee” game to relax with, whether you want to kill a few minutes or a few hours. In addition to cozy Christmas visuals, you’ll also be treated to a nice selection of traditional Christmas music.

We’re launching this Christmas with just over 50 puzzles right off the bat – no in-app purchases, nothing to unlock. Just download and hop into any puzzle of your choice!

You can grab the game right now at the Google Play Store.

Please enjoy, and feel free to let us know if you have any issues, questions, or other feedback.

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Reverse Lookup 3.3.4 Released

Reverse Lookup and Reverse Lookup PLUS v3.3.4 is now going live in the Google Play Store

This release addresses an issue that caused incoming call notifications to fail for some pre-Oreo users. In addition to this, the app received various background optimizations and a slightly smaller overall file size. This version should be fully rolled out by early next week.

The PLUS version of the app receives these same optimizations as well as the newer runtime permissions model that the free version received a couple weeks ago. Like the free version, the PLUS version now requires a device running Android 4.0 or higher. This version is rolling out to 100% of users today.

We would also like to alert users to a known issue we recently became aware of: Android Oreo devices are currently not receiving notifications of incoming calls from the app. We are working to resolve the issue and will release a fix as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

As always thank you again and please let us know if you have any questions.

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Reverse Lookup 3.3.2 – Important bugfix

Hey all – just a quick note.. after releasing version 3.3.1 over the weekend, we noticed a bug that was causing crashes at launch for a lot of users.

We’ve just pushed out version 3.3.2 on the Google Play Store which should solve this issue, so please be sure to grab the latest version if you’re having trouble.

Thank you and as always, please reach out if you have any comments or questions.

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Reverse Lookup v3.3.x Going Live

Hi! Today we’re beginning to launch Reverse Lookup 3.3 on the Google Play Store. All users should start receiving this update today. Although the update is fairly substantial, most of the changes are behind the scenes and most existing users won’t see a difference in their day to day use.

So what did change?

New permissions request model We’re now building the app against the latest Android APIs, something we had previously planned to do as we moved through the second half of the year. What this brings for our users is the realtime permissions request model that was implemented when Android 6.0 launched a few years back. Existing users won’t see a change – you’ve already accepted the needed permissions when you downloaded the app prior to today. New users on devices using Android 6.0 and up will now be asked to grant permissions as they are needed for the first time. The permission requested at app launch is used to build the main screen from your device’s call log. If you don’t grant this permission, you’ll only be able to search for calls by entering phone numbers by hand. The other permission you may be prompted to grant is for writing contacts, which is used when you use the app to block a number.

Permissions cleanup – Prior to this release, we needed to request the permission for writing to external storage as a requirement of the Google Maps API which is used on the location tab in search results. Google Maps no longer requires this permission, so we’ve removed the request from the app.

As always, we’ll be monitoring the launch and quickly releasing fixes for any issues that arise, so you may receive the app with a different minor version number.

Legacy Android Support dropped – Some of these changes have required us to drop support for devices running versions of Android under 4.0, which was released over 6 years ago as of this writing. According to our data, less than 500 users were still on these versions, and while the app version they have will continue to work for now, they will no longer receive updates or support.

As always, thank you for using the app and please reach out if you have any issues or questions.

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GDPR Update

As you may know, the European GDPR law goes live today and we’ve spent some time considering the best way to handle it. Due to the complexity of the law, we have made the decision to cease distribution of our games in European countries for the time being. We will revisit this decision in the future if market factors allow.

Please note that Reverse Lookup and Reverse Lookup PLUS were never available in Europe, nor do they work for non-US phone numbers. However, in order to be extra safe, we have updated Reverse Lookup such that a theoretical European user would have the ability to review and manage how their user data is handled. This update is part of Reverse Lookup 3.3, rolling out to all users today.

Users can also review our privacy policy if there are any questions about how your data is used.

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Reverse Lookup / Reverse Lookup PLUS v3.2 Now Live

Reverse Lookup and Reverse Lookup PLUS v3.2 for Android are now LIVE in the Google Play Store.

Along with various bugfixes and aesthetic updates(sharper menu icons for high res devices), this version also adds a Search History screen that will allow you to recall previous searches made with the app. This is a long overdue feature that many of you have asked for, so we hope you’ll find it useful. You can access the new screen from the main slide out menu on the main screen.

Thanks again for using the app and as always please feel free to reach out if you have any issues, questions, or other feedback.

 

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2018 Reverse Lookup Roadmap

Hello everyone. We hope the beginning of 2018 has been great for you, and we’re sorry for the lack of updates to social media.

We’ve been busy here, pushing out numerous small updates for Reverse Lookup and Reverse Lookup PLUS, the latest of which is beginning to roll out now and will probably be complete by the end of next week.

Looking forward, we’re currently working on an update that contains a feature we’ve been getting a ton of requests for. We’ll leave you with that teaser for now, but it shouldn’t be very long before we’re able to push that to all of you.

Later in the year, we’ll be updating the app to run on the latest Android runtime versions.. this is a background change and probably won’t affect your usage very much, but it’s a step that’s sorely overdue and will make things easier for us moving forward.

We do have one other big plan for the year, and that’s to experiment with what could be one of the biggest single features we’ve ever included. We’re not sure if it’s really feasible so no promises or hints on that yet, but we’ll update when we can.

In addition to all of this, you can look forward to the usual small bug fixes and also background updates to our service that we’ve always done.

As always, thanks again for using the app, and feel free to reach out if you have comments, questions, or any other type of feedback.

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