Apple has been in a tiff with India’s telecom authority TRAI over the latter’s Do Not Disturb app to report spam calls and texts to it. Apple does not allow third-party apps access to SMSes and call logs so there was no way for the Do Not Disturb app from TRAI to work in iOS. In iOS 12 though, Apple has made a small change which is going to make this possible.
There’s a new Unwanted Communication extension in the Settings app which would allow users to report spam calls and messages. Once the extension is enabled, users can swipe left on a call from the Recents list and select the Report option. Below is how the process works as described by Apple:
To report SMS messages and calls, the user must enable an Unwanted Communication extension in the Settings app. They can only enable one Unwanted Communication extension at a time.
In order to report calls, the user swipes left on an item in the Recents list and selects Report. For SMS messages, they press the Report Messages button when it appears in the Messages transcript. Users can also select messages by long-pressing a message and selecting additional messages, then selecting Report Messages.
Spam calls and messages are a big deal in India. On an average, I receive around 5 spam calls daily. TRAI is looking to combat this with its Do Not Disturb app and directory.
The regulatory body had first released the Do Not Disturb app for Android in 2016, and it has been involved in a tiff with Apple over access to a user’s call logs and messages to allow for its DND app to work on iOS. However, Apple has a very privacy-focused approach towards customer data and it was unwilling to comply with TRAI’s request. Due to the mounting pressure from the regulatory body though, the company had to take an action and with the Unwanted Communication extension in iOS 12, I’d say it has managed to find the perfect solution to pacify TRAI.