CooTek, the startup behind mobile input tool Chubao Input and enhanced smart dialer Chubao Dial (TouchPal) held a press event yesterday afternoon in Beijing announcing the latest version of Chubao Dial.
The new version (4.5), featured a string of innovations based on a mindset of “intelligentizing smartphone dialing experience and make the most of caller ID” to make smartphones deliver on people’s expectation on its SMART.
Michael Wang, the Shanghai-based startup’s co-founder and CEO pulled the curtain off the new Chubao Dial by walking us through the origin and developments of phones, from 1876 when the first phone in the world was invented by Mr. Bell to nowadays where powerful smartphones could be found over every street corner across global.
Today’s iPhone or Android phones are capable of playing video and music, editing spreadsheet and even more, put it simply, they’re as strong as desktops from decades ago.
However, no matter how mobile phone evolves, and no matter how capable they are now, according to Wang, the basic yet essential dialing experience, never changed too much.
Chubao Dial, is aiming to give a huge boost to that basic but core function.
Make the most of Caller ID
The newly revamped dialer (version 4.5), featured a powerful army of innovations to make answer and dial phone calls more efficient and smart.
For example, one problem concerns probably every Chinese with a mobile number is that, they constantly got cold calls from insurance companies or banks. With Chubao Dial, now every cold call would be labeled by “from”, “fraud or not” and “company name (if available)”. From now on, whenever your phone rings, by taking a quick look at these identifiers, you’ll be able to decide on picking it up or hanging it off immediately. No worries about missing out on important calls or being dragged into a cold call any more.
If you thinking of this feature as help people filter incoming calls, then the other one would be streamlining outgoing dials.
Imagine this. When you’re out with some friends and suddenly someone suggests that why not grab a bit at Din Tai Fung, how can you get there? Google it out on smartphone via China’s snail-speed wireless network, or call directory assistance? Probably not the best solution.
How about just firing up the app and type DTF into the search box, immediately the results pop out. Just make a call to inquire about the route. It’s that easy.
According to Wang, currently the app has indexed more than 10 million local merchants’ phone number, covering four cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen with wider support for more cities to be made available through downloads. It’s just like a free and offline directory assistance at your hand.
Chubao Dial as of now boasts more than 10 million users while 3 million are from iPhone users and the remaining 7 million are from Android devices.
Setting up U.S. branch next year
Founded four years ago and staffed by more than 90 people with almost 70% of which engaged in R&D, Chubao, or Touchpal in English is one of the few Chinese startups bear the ambition to set foot on overseas market.
Just like what Wang told us, two keywords of the company are: overseas expansion and innovation-driven. For instance, It applied for more than 20 patents to protect its IP and also level up the entry barrier for potential competitors.
Currently, Chubao Input, another flagship product of the company claims more than 80 million users with over 70% of them are outside of China. The app currently supports more than 60 languages. It made its way into areas like Europe and the States through partnerships with local carriers. In Europe, the partners include Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone while in the States it’s sprint. Deals between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA are also in negotiation, according to Wang. He also mentioned that about 20% of Android devices on the planet are preinstalled with Chubao Input method.
Chubao raised millions dollars in Series A round from Qiming Ventures and is also in talks about Series B round of financing. The company became profitable since last year with millions of RMB in revenue.
Chubao is also considering opening up a branch office in U.S. next year to recruit more innovative staff into its team.