block phone calls

woman on cell phone

As we’ve mentioned on Saintel Daily, there are quite a few updates to iOS 12.  While we aren’t getting any new features in terms of the way things look, but the operating system itself did boast a number of extensions overall.  But what might be one of the most interesting features is the ability to handle spam messages and calls.  Now, developers can allow users to report unwanted messages and calls as spam.  Which is great news considering how many calls I get of this nature.

According to documents from Apple, this feature will allow developers with the ability to build app extensions which will add an “unwanted communication” feature.  You can enable the feature in the Settings app.  Once the app extension is activated, users can simply swipe left on an item in the Recent tab of the Phone app, in order to reveal a new “Report” option.  This same process can be performed in the messages app. Great news, right?

iphone x

To report unwanted SMS messages or calls, you have to enable the Unwanted Communication extension.  Otherwise, all those unwanted calls will continue to come through.  What’s great about this, is that it’s potentially not limited to your Messaging app.  Apple is hoping that third-party app developers will also make these changes as well.  The reporting feature was already available on iMessages, but now it applies to SMS messages as well as calls.

I personally think this is a great feature as I have been getting a ton of unwanted calls and messages lately.  The big one I keep getting is from an unknown caller, who alleges they are the government, telling me that I owe back taxes.  If I don’t call and pay up right away, they will take me to court.  Well, I’ve received a bunch of these in the last 6 months, and each time I check my actual tax account and it shows no such balance.  As of right now, there’s nothing I can do except ignore the calls.  I can’t even block the call because it’s coming from an unknown number.  So I’m kind of stuck.

iphone x

I also get a lot of unwanted text or iMessages.  A lot of them seem to be coming from someone who knew the person who had my phone number before me.  While these aren’t necessarily spam, they are kind of annoying.  The most recent said, “Hello Beautiful Bride to be…” followed by a question clearly not intended for me.  Like I said, this isn’t going to necessarily solve that problem.  But luckily, I can still block those folks using that feature in iOS.

I am still (as well as other people that I know), however, getting random calls from various countries.  Whether it’s Russia or China, or somewhere in South America, these calls are coming in. How they have my number or what they want is unknown.  I don’t know anyone in these particular countries, so I don’t answer the call.  At least now, iOS is going to give us an option when it comes to those unwanted calls.  Maybe it’s not the best solution, but for now, it’s a solution and that’s all I can ask.