Apple’s WWDC 2019 iOS 13 announcement was a whirlwind of new features and small tweaks, and some smaller enhancements slipped through the cracks. In particular, Apple mentioned a new call spam prevention feature briefly before switching over to the next big announcement in the keynote.
Thankfully, we’ve learned more about the calling feature through the iOS 13 preview page Apple posted on its website.
Initially spotted by The Verge, iOS 13 includes a feature that will silence unknown callers. According to Apple’s website, iOS will use Siri intelligence to block calls from unknown and spam callers. You can read the full blurb below:
Silence unknown callers
A new setting protects users from unknown and spam callers. When the setting is turned on, iOS uses Siri intelligence to allow calls to ring your phone from numbers in Contacts, Mail, and Messages. All other calls are automatically sent to voicemail.
To accomplish this, Siri will filter numbers through your Contacts, Mail and Messages. iOS will send numbers not found in those apps to voicemail automatically.
From the description, it seems these unknown calls won’t even ring your phone or appear on screen, so users won’t be disturbed.
While it’s a welcome improvement, the new spam filter likely leaves a lot to be desired. For example, if you receive a lot of business calls from strangers, this isn’t the ideal solution for you.
It’s also unclear how well this will work if you don’t use Apple’s Mail app, as email apps can be a massive source of information for people you haven’t yet added to your own contact book.
Regardless, it’s a step in the right direction. Apple will likely refine the feature in time as well.