Apple didn’t mention this when unveiling iOS 12 at WWDC, but on its Developer website the company has announced a new feature that allows users to report spam calls and texts or block their phone numbers through a third party app. Developers of such apps will be able to build an app extension that adds an option called “Unwanted Communications” in the Settings app. This option would have to be enabled by the user in order to report an unwanted call or text.
With “Unwanted Communications” enabled, users will be able to report a specific call in the Recents tab by swiping to the left and tapping on Report. To report a spam SMS, the user presses the Report Messages button when it appears in the Messages transcript. Another way to report a message is to long-press on it, select additional messages, and click on Report Messages.
When a call or SMS message is reported, the app launches its extension to gather more information from the user and then decides whether the number should be reported or blocked. Blocked numbers will appear on the device’s Blocked Contact list, which can be managed by users in the Settings app.
This ability to report spam calls or texts had been requested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The agency launched a third party app in 2016, allowing Android users to report unwanted communications. Apple refused to allow the app to be used on the iPhone by preventing TRAI from gaining access to call and messaging logs in order to protect its customers. Apple has opened up iOS 12 allowing developers to build apps that will help solve this problem; the new feature is sorely needed in India where consumers in the country receive five to ten spam calls and messages a day.
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