iOS 10 Will Allow Nomorobo & Other Call Blockers To Work On iPhones

Image courtesy of George Redgrave

Most robocall blocking software and hardware has focused on stopping unwanted calls to landline phones, and especially landlines connected over the internet. That’s all well and good, but a growing number of Americans are now cellphone-only, meaning many millions of us still have to face these annoying calls. When Apple rolls out iOS 10 — the latest update to its mobile operating system — this week, it should open the door to a spate of new robo-blockers for your iPhone.

In an interview with InnovateLI, Nomorobo CEO Aaron Foss explains how the update to iOS will allow his service — winner of the Federal Trade Commission’s first robocall-blocking contest — and others to try to keep robocalls at bay.

When you receive a call, Nomorobo works by immediately checking the incoming number against a vast crowdsourced blacklist of known and suspected robocallers, and stops your phone from repeatedly ringing if it determines the call is likely spam.

Foss says Apple’s previous iOS settings restricted third-party apps’ access to contact lists and call records, but a new directory extension feature in iOS 10 will allow the Nomorobo app to upload incoming call info to compare with the service’s list of numbers.

“This basically allows developers like us to build real call-blocking apps,” he tells InnovateLI, acknowledging that the iOS change doesn’t just favor his service, but others built on similar ideas.

Unlike Nomorobo’s landline service, which has been free, the wireless version has a monthly fee. The iPhone version will be $2/month (after a 30-day free trial), billed through iTunes.

The company launched a beta test of its mobile app a few months ago for both iPhone and Android at $5/month.

Foss tells InnovateLI that he’s working on an updated Android version but hasn’t decided on what to charge or whether to release it through the Google Play store.

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