I'm looking for a specific phone function


iMore Question

I'm looking for some clarification regarding Caller ID and Call blocking functionalities on iPhones. Thought I'd ask here because, well you're all familiar with the handset and can give an answer based on your experience.

A little bit of background, I'm coming from a barely surviving Windows Phone and I'm overly due for an upgrade. Sadly Microsoft no longer supports Windows Phone so I'm leaning more towards on iPhones as I hear they are more reliable in the long run. However I'm looking for a specific feature and I'm quite unsure if this is available on other handsets.

It's an option in Caller ID called 'My contacts' where it automatically shows my caller ID to anyone in my contacts list, and hides it when I call a number not saved in my contacts. Additionally, the call blocking function allows to block unknown or private callers (the call doesn't go to voicemail, instead the phone drops the call).

I own a small business and I use my number to call clients and return calls. I also have a business number that is tied to my mobile number for other people to call, that way my number is not in risk of being visible to the public. So you know why this feature is important to me.

I visited several shops to check the settings on the demo units at hand. It appears that both Android and iOS only have the options to enable or disable Caller ID, and the call blocking functions are barebones (can only block calls after you receive them, and doesn't have an option to block unknown calls). A store rep also told me that the option I'm looking for is carrier dependent, and I was stumped by this because I have this option on my Windows Phone on their network! Another store rep has said that I can achieve these functions via third party like Truecaller. But how reliable are third parties exactly? Has anyone used these at all? It seems like a really simple function for a smartphone to not have.


Mar 2, 2016
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First of all, welcome to iMore! You might want to give some consideration to registering for an iMore account so that we can continue to help you and vice versa. Click here to learn how to sign up at iMore.

Now, in regards to your question, I'm don't really know if this is possible. However, here in the USA, we have the capability of dialing *67 before a number if we want our call to be anonymous. I just tested this by calling my office number from my iPhone and it worked. So if you're in the US, this may be an option for you. If not, you might try checking to see if such a thing exists where you live.


Oct 2, 2013
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I have found apps like Hiya and Truecaller to be dependable for numbers I have blocked in those apps. While not as perfect as you would like, this may be your best option for unwanted callers.


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May 6, 2013
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For true call blocking app (like you said, dropping calls before ringing, not sending to voice mail, and blocking unknown and private numbers etc) for iPhone, you have to jailbreak the phone to install iBlacklist etc (I do not know if the developer is still making it active). This is because Apple is not making an API available to developers so that apps can be active in the background (which allows them to catch unwanted calls behind the scene before rings). I can see why Apple does this as such API, by its nature, consumes battery juice, being constantly active.
Having said that, Apple's implementation of call blocking is done well and I no longer need those dedicated call blockers. Yes, unwanted calls would still be directed to your voicemail but you won't know it until you deliberately check the VM. It does not ring. Also, as Ledsteplin said, apps like Hiya and Truecaller work well too. If you are desperate to block unwanted calls, you may want to try YouMail, an internet-based call blocker (or VM system that catches unwanted calls. Being internet based, you do not have to jailbreak the phone). At one time, I was crazy about blocking robocalls etc, but between Apple' call block, Hiya and Truecller, the frequency of unwanted call dramatically dropped down to almost nil. Those apps, including Apple's implementation, leaves the trace of who called so you know who the bugger was.

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