One of the most anticipated features in OS 10.3, at least for me as a former BBOS user, is that call blocking applications would finally be possible. With BlackBerry opening up the API to developers it was only a matter of time before a variety of applications were made available to ensure calls from those pesky telemarketers or other callers you may not want to get through do not get answered.
BlockIt is a headless application that allows users to block incoming calls by a specific number using the Caller ID. After such a long wait, I'm glad this feature is finally available.
- Headless (running in the background). You don't have to leave the app open.
- Black List, White List, Exception List
- Create Block Phone Number from the Device Contacts
- Create Block Phone Number from the Device Call Log
- Create Phone Number manually
- Wildcards Number Blocking i.e. 1800*
- Assign Led Color to the phone number you want to block
- Move phone number between Black List, White List, Exception List with single tap
- View Block Call Log -Support Black and White Theme
- Backup and Restore Database
Being able to setup and use the application is effortless. The interface is not cluttered at all and everything needed is laid out in an easy to read manner. At the top, you are presented with a drop down list to select the current profile or blocked list you wish to use. For example, you could select Block Black List, which only blocks the numbers populated there, Block All except Exception list, Block All, and so on and so forth.
Below this option is your personalized lists, Black List, White List, and Exception, that you simply tap on to access. The currently selected list is highlighted in orange, and you simply tap on the New Phone Number icon (plus sign) at the bottom to add a number to a particular list. After tapping on that button, you are directed to another page to input the important information concerning the number you wish to block. You can pull entries directly from the Contacts app or from your device call log or enter in a name, choose which list to add to, select an LED color and blink interval, manually add a number with area code, and, the most important, select the appropriate country code from the dropdown list. The app support all countries code and you can add/remove countries from the pick list in the Phone Add screen.
Please be aware that this will not work on numbers who block their Caller ID (i.e. Private Numbers, Unknown, etc.) and the application only works on OS 10.3 on the BlackBerry Passport and certain leaks on other devices.
Another interesting feature is how you can swiftly move numbers from one list to another. When a number is added, it appears on the main screen under the appropriate heading. To switch, simply tap on the tiny circular icons. For example, if a number is under the Blacklist you may tap on the +w or +e to move to the White List or Exception List.
Now for the part that matters. Once a number is entered all you have to do is wait for an incoming call. What happens is relatively obvious. When a call is received from a particular blocked number your device will blink the LED color chosen (if applicable), there will be no incoming call screen on your device, and the caller after a ring or so will see the line go dead with a fast busy signal. However, please note that the call does appear in the BlackBerry Hub and in your call log as a missed call.
In addition, for those of you concerned over permissions, this application requires a few in order to function properly. The full list can be found in the BlackBerry World description but the important ones are that it requires access to your Phone, Contacts, Shared Files (backup/restore), and Personal Call Logs (so it can read and pull call information).
- Block incoming calls from contact list, phone log or by manual input
- Setup user-defined profiles and lists according to category and preference
- Intuitive and clean user interface
- Would prefer to have the phone log option sortable by date to quickly select the last known caller
The Bottom Line
Being able to prevent calls from certain parties including spammers is a most useful feature that had been lacking for quite some time on BlackBerry 10. Whether you wish to block a specific party or cannot be bothered at all with calls, BlockIt is packed with features to get the job done. Calls are picked up and ended without the individual even realizing they were blocked which works out well. You can purchase this application for $1.99.