The best part of iOS 7 is blocking calls

18 Sep

IOS-7I’ve been getting a lot of spam phone calls lately, mainly from a fake Revenue Canada number. Annoyed, I contacted my wireless provider to see if there’s anything that can be done about it. No luck, which is pretty amazing. It’s a little unbelievable that phone providers still aren’t able (or willing) to offer customers a solution to this problem at their level.

Fortunately, there are fixes on the device level, which the service rep helpfully pointed out to me. One of the features of iOS 7, which Apple is rolling out today (Wednesday), is call blocking.

It’s pretty simple to do – you simply add the offending number as a contact, then block all calls and/or text messages from that contact.

As per the video:

There were apps that could do this on an iPhone previously, but you had to jailbreak the device because Apple hasn’t allowed developers to touch the device’s core phone function. Now, thankfully, it’s all above board. It’s certainly the new iOS 7 feature that I’m looking forward to the most.

Android and BlackBerry users have had access to similar official apps, such as Mr. Number and Call Blocker, for some time now so it’s good to see Apple finally getting with the program.

Of course, all of this likely means war on telemarketers and scammers. It’s hard to imagine they’ll go quietly in the night, meaning they’re much more likely to raise the ante somehow. What will the next evolution of phone scams be? I’m almost afraid to find out.

UPDATE (Sept. 19): Having installed iOS 7 and tested out the call blocking function, I’m pleased to report it works like a charm. I called myself from a different number, then added that number to my contact list and blocked it. Afterward, all calls from the other number went straight to voice mail and didn’t show up at all on my phone. I left a voice mail just to see what would happen, and it was stored in a “blocked” folder. So far, so good…

1 Comment

Posted by on September 18, 2013 in android, apple, Blackberry, iphone


One response to “The best part of iOS 7 is blocking calls

  1. iOuch 7

    September 18, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I guess this is better than nothing although I don’t relish having to clutter my contacts with spammers. I guess I have to create a Spammers group and hide it.

    And a plea goes out to all developers that allow the use of block lists or filters … please provide a count of the number of times the rule was used and the last date. How else can I manage an ever growing list? I would like to delete entries that have had few hits and were last used a year ago.

    The real problem lies in the archaic telephone system. Much like email, there is no universal way to prevent spoofing and therefore allow workable blocking and tracing. Since most of these calls are robo-calls, “Press 1 to lower your credit card interest rate,” or, “You’ve won a free cruise! Press 1 for details,” then it would be nice to route all unknown calls to an answering system that asks the caller to press a random 3-digit number to be connected to your phone. Or better yet, fix the damn phone system.

    I won’t be able to experience the pain and suffering of other iOS 7 upgraders today as I’m handing my iPhone 5 down and will order the 5s on Friday morning at 03:01 EDT (thanks Apple). This means I will be without a phone for Apple knows how long (thanks Apple). I will not stand in line for a phone and give Apple some free hype. The 5s looks like a nice upgrade, but not a stand-in-line-gotta-have-it-right-now upgrade.

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