Carl Court/Getty Images
- Apple’s new iOS 13 software for the iPhone will introduce the ability to send unknown calls straight to voicemail.
- The feature takes into account whether a phone number has been mentioned in an email or text message, and will allow calls from these numbers to ring.
- The new setting comes as automated spam calls have been on the rise in the US.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Spam phone calls are a growing problem in the US, and there’s no indication the issue will slow down anytime soon. Nearly 48 billion robocalls were made in the US in 2018, according to Cision, representing a 56.8% increase compared to 2017.
But when Apple’s iOS 13 software launches this fall, iPhone owners will have a better way to deal with them. The new software update, which Apple announced earlier this month at its Worldwide Developers Conference, will introduce a setting for silencing unknown and spam callers.
The new feature uses Siri to filter out calls from phone numbers that aren’t found in your iPhone’s Contacts, Mail, and Messages app, reducing your chances of answering your phone only to find an automated scammer on the other end. These screened calls are sent straight to your iPhone’s voicemail.
This capability isn’t on by default, but users can enable it in iOS 13 by launching the iPhone’s "Settings" menu, scrolling down to the "Phone" option and toggling the slider next to "Silence Unknown Callers," as outlets such as 9to5Mac and MacRumors have pointed out.
You may not always have a person’s contact information saved in your phone, which is why Apple’s new feature takes numbers mentioned in emails and text messages into account. But keep in mind this only applies to Apple’s Mail and Messages app.
If there’s a phone number that’s mentioned in a third-party service like Facebook Messenger, Slack, or WhatsApp that isn’t referenced in Apple’s Messages app, it sounds like your iPhone would still screen it. The same likely applies to an email sent to one of your accounts that isn’t linked to Apple’s Mail app.
Apple’s iOS 13 update won’t launch until later this year, likely in September to coincide with the company’s annual iPhone unveil. But those with an Apple developer account already have access to the beta version of iOS 13, and Apple typically releases an early unfinished version of the software to the public in the summer.
Apple isn’t the only company trying to help phone owners cut down on spam calls. Last year, Google announced a feature for the Pixel 3 that can screen spam calls and provide transcriptions in real time.
- The founder of Apple’s biggest iPhone assembler is urging the company to move its production out of China as trade tensions escalate
- I use these 15 little YouTube tricks on a daily basis, and it makes the experience so much better
- Apple is expected to release its first 5G iPhone next year. Here’s everything we’ve heard about it so far.