iPhone Users Get New Options to Block Unwanted Robocalls

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

There’s been a lot of talk about Apple’s new iOS 10 update for iPhones. Here at the End Robocalls campaign, we’re interested in the new possibilities that it opens up for call-blocking. Previous iOS versions were configured in a way that made it difficult for third-party apps to block unwanted robocalls, but that will change with the new update. Call-blocking companies Nomorobo,TrueCaller, and Hiya have already announced plans to expand their offerings for iPhone.

Call-blocking companies have long offered call-blocking apps for Android phones, but until now they have had to devise work-arounds for iPhones. For example, earlier this year, Nomorobo developed a beta for iPhone and Android but Nomorobo scrapped that plan when it became clear that Apple would make it easier to work with third party call-blocking apps. Starting on Tuesday, iPhone users will be able to download Nomorobo from the iTunes store. It will cost $2 per month after a 30-day free trial.

While we haven’t tested any of the apps, you may want to consider using one if you’re frustrated with robocalls to your smartphone. The Wireless Association has collected a list of apps here. You can also block individual numbers to your iPhone and Android if you’d rather not add an app. And Google recently pushed out an update for its Nexus and Android One phones that automatically flags spam calls.

We’re excited to see the progress in blocking unwanted robocalls to smartphones. These new tools show that companies can make a real difference in the fight against robocalls when they put their minds to it. Still, call-blocking options remain limited for many phone users, particularly for traditional landline and basic cell phone users. Consumers deserve comprehensive, effective protection from robocalls – for free, and without a lot of hassle. That’s why we’re calling on the phone companies to offer all of their customers free tools to block unwanted robocalls automatically.

We’re starting to see some real change on robocalls, but we need your help to cross the finish line. Thanks in part to your anti-robocall advocacy, the FCC convened the first Robocall Strike Force in August – joining together 33 companies to work toward robocall solutions. The Strike Force is due to release a detailed plan of action on October 19. Help us turn up the heat on the phone companies to make sure they offer us effective solutions to the robocall problem. Join our End Robocalls campaign today!
Update: Consumers Union recommends that consumers closely evaluate what kind of information they’re willing to disclose to prevent robocalls, so review the privacy policy before signing up for any call-blocking app or service.
View all Campaign Updates

5 responses to “iPhone Users Get New Options to Block Unwanted Robocalls”

  1. nicolasjuan says:

    This is a great step. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for the information. Some major steps needs to be taken in order to end Robocalls
    Best Regards
    James Flin

  3. Hadi Waqar says:

    Some methods to block numbers on both android and iOS devices that might be helpful are mentioned here
    Hope it helps 🙂

  4. M. Neuhaus says:

    why does the do not call registry not cover robo calls?

    • Mike says:

      It does. Making something illegal doesn’t stop it, it only makes it punishable in the event that law enforcement can catch them, which they rarely do.

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