I didn't get a cell phone until 1998, on the grounds that it seemed like more of a leash than an enabling technology. I didn't want to always be on call. For a few years, my fears were partially realized - then CallFilter for the Treo 600 appeared on the scene, and I could finally have my calls screen automagically.
Unfortunately, CallFilter was extremely buggy on the Treo 650 and later Treos. The original developer apparently was unable or unwilling to upgrade from the 600. Things may have changed, since the app is marketed for the 600 and 650, but I have a Centro. After a desperate search, I stumbled across the solution that promised to rescue me from my call screening woes, CallBlock Ringtone Edition.
Three Flavors of CallBlock
CallBlock comes in three versions. The Free Edition limits you to five numbers and lacks Group filtering. The Basic Edition lacks individual ringtone assignments for different numbers. And the Ringtone Edition allows you to set specific ringtones to specific numbers.
Design and Use
The home screen is intuitively and logically laid out. At the top is a Mode drop-down menu that offers four selections:
- Normal: block individually assigned numbers and groups
- Allow All: disable blocking
- Allow VIPs Only: block all calls not defined on the recipient's whitelist
- Block All: enable blocking exclusively
A couple of terms need clarifying. Groups are categories on Contacts, allowing you to, for example, block all calls in your "Work" category unless scheduled otherwise. CallBlock is limited to 100 numbers, so if you need to block more, create a new category in Contacts to assign them to; then you can block any number of numbers. Groups also has "Not in Contacts" and "Private Number" (blocked Caller ID) categories. I prefer to send all calls not in my contacts to voice mail, and disconnect all private number calls.
Block can either mean sending calls to voice mail, or "Pick/hang up." The Pick/hang up option is the Holy Grail of call blocking. Since the call is answered and disconnected, it's prevented from going to voice mail. No more messages from ex-significant-others, creditors or telemarketers. You can also "block" text messages, but CallBlock's definition of blocking them is limited to their alerts - the messages themselves still appear on the screen.
You can set up to seven labeled schedule assignments. Going back to the Work category example, you might choose to allow calls in your Work contacts during the week, and send them to voice mail on weekends; or you might send them to voice mail after, say, 6:00 P.M.; or you might do so with calls in your Friends group before 5:00 P.M.
CallBlock is the virtual assistant I've been looking for since CallFilter fell into disuse. The Free or Basic Editions might do the job for you, but having specific ringtones for VIP numbers was worth the price ($16.95) for me. Highly recommended.
Supports current POS Treos (unlike CallFilter)
Wildcard number assignments can filter entire area codes or prefixes
Allows individual ringtone assignments for individual callers and groups
Pick/hang up option prevents calls from going to voice mail
|Blocked texts are still displayed, though alerts are silent