iOS 7 feature focus: Block calls, texts, and FaceTimes from individual numbers

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Apple's new operating system has received acclaim for many of its interface tweaks and service additions, but one of the less heralded features Apple built into iOS 7 is also quite useful: a privacy setting that allows users to block specific people from contacting them.



Adding individuals to the Blocked list will prevent them from contacting an iOS user across multiple devices. The feature stops blocked persons from establishing contact via phone call, iMessage, and FaceTime chat.

The Blocked list is accessible through the settings menu. On the iPhone, users can access the blocking feature through Phone, Messages, and FaceTime settings. On the iPad and iPod, the blocking feature is accessible through the Messages and FaceTime settings menus. Blocking a person through any one of these menus will block them across all means of contact and across all of a user's connected iOS devices.

Adding a person to the Blocked list is rather straightforward, assuming that person is already within one's contact list. After navigating to the Blocked menu, a user simply taps "Add New..." and the user's contact list appears. Tapping a contact's name automatically adds them to the Blocked list, severing all iOS ties immediately.

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Users can also add individuals to the Blocked list directly from the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps. In the Phone or FaceTime app, tap the Info button next to the name or number to be blocked and scroll to the bottom of the card to tap Block This Caller, and confirm the block. A user can also do so by going to the Contacts section under in the FaceTime or Phone app, scrolling to the bottom of a card, and tapping Block this Caller.

In the Messages app, a user can tap the message from the individual to be blocked, tap Contact in the upper right corner, and then tap the Info button under the Done button. Upon scrolling to the bottom of the Info card, the user will see the Block this Caller option.

In AppleInsider's tests of the feature, blocking an individual on an iPhone almost instantly added them to the blocked list on an iPad mini, and vice versa. Placing a call from a number that has been blocked will result in that call being forwarded to voicemail.

Reversing an unintentional block is also straightforward. Much in the same way one might delete an email or iMessage, a user can just swipe a contact's name to the left, whereupon an Unblock option will appear in red. Tapping that option will remove the contact from the Block list across all devices within seconds.

For more information on Apple's latest mobile operating system, visit AppleInsider's ongoing iOS 7 Feature Focus series. Other topics include in-depth looks at AirDrop, blocking individual cell numbers and the revamped Camera app, among others.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,779member
    No way of blocking the person from leaving a voicemail as well? Shame. Good feature though.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member
    "Placing a call from a number that has been blocked will result in that call being forwarded to voicemail."

    I would prefer an option to play a message saying the party is unavailable, but without allowing them to leave a message. They are on a blocked list, after all...

    Edit: Crowley beat me to it.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,458member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post



    No way of blocking the person from leaving a voicemail as well? Shame. Good feature though.

     

    Left swipe and delete.

  • Reply 4 of 46

    Would love to have the ability to block 'Blocked' or 'Unknown" numbers too. 

  • Reply 5 of 46
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

     

    Left swipe and delete.


     

    A nice workaround, to be sure, but not a "solution".  IMO.

     

    I'll file a feedback report on this tonight.

  • Reply 6 of 46

    While looking at the Twitter feed for iOS 7 yesterday I noticed that a lot of teens/young people were looking forward to this feature, especially for blocking messages. A lot were very happy that they could now block a few people in their contacts. Which makes me wonder, are today's teens often victim of harassment through messaging apps?

  • Reply 7 of 46
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,501member
    If I block a phone number, it means I want zero contact with them. That means no voicemail, no nothing. At the least, give the user the option to play a pre-recorded message to those on the blocked list. The old-fashioned "number is no longer in service" would be a great start.

    Still. This is better than nothing. I set up a contact called "scammer" and every phone number I get that meets my criteria gets forwarded to this list, and this contact is set up to not vibrate nor ring.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post



    If I block a phone number, it means I want zero contact with them. That means no voicemail, no nothing. At the least, give the user the option to play a pre-recorded message to those on the blocked list. The old-fashioned "number is no longer in service" would be a great start.



    Still. This is better than nothing. I set up a contact called "scammer" and every phone number I get that meets my criteria gets forwarded to this list, and this contact is set up to not vibrate nor ring.

     

    Agreed. Telemarketers should simply burn in hell.

  • Reply 9 of 46
    While some of the new 'functional features' are great(and some would say about time), I really like the new multitask(cough Palm cough)... but that interface/colors... who-ah... fungly.

    I can understand why now... why Jony and Scott F would have major fights. In my experiences... those pissing contest usually result in a garden that blooms well! Of course they had Steve there to moderate the sprinkling... so to speak.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    Actually in regards to voicemails from numbers that are blocked. You'll never receive a notification of a new voicemail. The voicemail will be placed in a folder called "blocked" in your general voicemail mailbox.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post



    Still. This is better than nothing. I set up a contact called "scammer" and every phone number I get that meets my criteria gets forwarded to this list, and this contact is set up to not vibrate nor ring.

     

    I have a contact named "Text Spam" that I add every miscreant who texts me scams like "You have won an Amazon gift card!" and "Refinance now!"  Currently up to 48 numbers in that "contact".  LOL!

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post

     

    Would love to have the ability to block 'Blocked' or 'Unknown" numbers too. 


     

    This needs to go into iOS 7.0.2, stat!

     

    Preferably with a message saying "This person does not accept calls from blocked or unknown telephone numbers."

  • Reply 12 of 46
    Didn't know that. Wow. Thank god.
  • Reply 13 of 46

    I would love I could add Unknown numbers to the block list.

  • Reply 14 of 46
    Re: blocked numbers going to voicemail.

    As voicemail is hosted by the carrier, Apple would need their cooperation to block the connection entirely. Likely, Apples solution is simply software which automatically declines the call (just as if you were to hit the end button).
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post

     

     

    This needs to go into iOS 7.0.2, stat!

     

    Preferably with a message saying "This person does not accept calls from blocked or unknown telephone numbers."


    I'm down with this as a resolution!

  • Reply 16 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post

    I'm down with this as a resolution!

     

    "This person does not accept calls from blocked or unknown telephone numbers."


    Yes good solution...!
  • Reply 17 of 46
    You can block any call. Go to Recents, click the "i" icon next to the number, scroll down and click "Block This Caller".
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
    Adding individuals to the Blocked list will prevent them from contacting an iOS user across multiple devices. The feature stops blocked persons from establishing contact via phone call, iMessage, and FaceTime chat.

     

    This is a PAID add-on to many cell plans, and Verizon, at least, limits you to only five numbers blockable. That’s absolutely ludicrous. Sheer insanity. Apple doing this is spectacular.

     

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

    No way of blocking the person from leaving a voicemail as well? Shame. Good feature though.

     

    If they can’t call you, how can they voicemail you?

  • Reply 19 of 46
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post



    If I block a phone number, it means I want zero contact with them. That means no voicemail, no nothing. At the least, give the user the option to play a pre-recorded message to those on the blocked list. The old-fashioned "number is no longer in service" would be a great start.



    Still. This is better than nothing. I set up a contact called "scammer" and every phone number I get that meets my criteria gets forwarded to this list, and this contact is set up to not vibrate nor ring.

     

    How about a message that informs them that what they are doing is illegal and that they have been reported to the authorities?  :) 

     


    I find the feature really confusing the way Apple has implemented it also.  They directly imply that you have to add the number to contacts before it can be blocked, (which is stupid and awkward), then several websites have reported that you don't have to do this, you can block it right form the recent calls list.  But when you do that, although it seems to work, the language on the button-label-not-really-a-button-thing is "block contact" even though you haven't created a contact.  Weird and stupid and confusing etc. 
  • Reply 20 of 46
    rraburrabu Posts: 239member

    They could answer the call in software, play a pre-recorded message, then hang up.

     

    On the plus side, blocked callers couldn't leave voicemail (unless you're iPhone is off or out of coverage area). Also, you could maybe put different messages on different blocked contacts.

     

    On the down side, this "solution" would be using some of your minutes without you knowing.

     

    ---

     

    I wish I could ditch carrier voicemail and let my iPhone take a recording. Then, blocked numbers couldn't leave voicemail as the phone could just "not answer" the call. Also, with such a solution, you wouldn't have to pay the carrier for a large voicemail box, it would be recordings on your phone instead (which could propagate to other devices like your Mac or iPad via iCloud) so still be accessible from more than just the answering device. The only downside would be not getting any voicemail if your iPhone is unreachable (out of service area or off or dead battery) but I bet lots of people might take that trade-off; I would.

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