09
May
call-block-stop-unwanted-calls
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

I've had this problem with my cell phone for the past couple of years. Somehow, despite my best efforts, telemarketers have gotten ahold of my cell phone number. In addition to that, I'm STILL getting calls from debt collectors for the person I assume had my phone number before I got it, which was around 4 years ago. This is really annoying. Like, really, really annoying. I've got my own debt collectors calling, I don't need this "Sherry's" collectors calling me as well. Lucky for me, though, warranties are just a cute, ignorable line of text from the manufacturer and I promptly root all devices within 15 feet of me. If you hate getting phone calls and have root access, I'd like to introduce to you the one, the ONLY, Root Call Blocker.

I know what you're thinking (Really, I don't, but it could possibly be this): "But, Brad, there are already so many call blockers for Android. What's different about this one? Also, how can I be more like you?"

Well, to answer the second question first, you can be more like me by living a life full of exciting car chases and large explosions. Also, you should probably be afraid of bees. Well, not like AFRAID afraid, but just...don't trust them.

For the first question, there is one big reason Root Call Blocker is different: Your phone responds at the system level and never rings. This app isn't simply hitting the ignore button for you - it is making your phone's network state roundhouse-kick telemarketers and annoying friends in the teeth with neglect! The app even allows you to select how your network state reacts to a blacklisted call. Root call blocker has taken my hermitage to a whole new level. Less talking, more blocking, I always say.

When you first start the app, it obviously will not be blocking anything. You'll need to load up the list of people you hate first. The app open to the list of people it's blocked which, again, is nobody yet. From the main screen, all of your options are presented: Profiles, Settings, and Help.

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The settings screen is pretty straight-forward. Straight-forward in the sense that the "Enable call blocking" option cannot be selected. I don't really understand that, but the app works with that functionality disabled, evidently. In the profile screen, you can set up what numbers you block and how you block them. You can choose from a blacklist (specify who you block) or a whitelist (specify who you allow) and have a good number of filters to choose from:

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It's pretty obvious what all of these mean, I think, so I won't bother going into detail about them. Suffice it to say, if you want someone to be blocked, you can manage to accomplish that, one way or another.

The help menu describes all of the apps functionality pretty well. If you get confused, I highly recommend employing it:

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Now, let's talk about the network actions: You have 3 options: Reject, Alternative Reject, and Don't Answer. I tried out all three.

When I chose reject, I called from a number I blocked in the app. This is how my phone reacted:

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My network deactivated silently, the call went to voicemail, and my network came back on. Victory.

Next up was alternative reject; Here was the result of that:

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Yes, that's the same image, with the same space-age, trillion-dollar CG effects. It was an identical result to the "reject" option, and it still went to voicemail, despite what the help menu told me.

On to the "Don't Answer" option:

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Again, no need to spend the money on a new high-tech graphic; same deal. Help menu ignored, voicemail activated. This option, however, came with an added bonus:

 

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Crashes! Root Call blocker is in beta, so I guess this is understandable. The result was the same on my EVO 4g. All options reacted the same way and "do not answer" crashed the app in some sort of call-ignoring hangover. None of these options gave me a notification when a call was blocked, though. They did, however, block phone calls and, really, that's all I needed in the first place.

Overall, Root Call Blocker gets the job done. The network options may not work properly yet, and the notification system may be somewhat non-existent, but an ignored call is an ignored call, right? With all of the options that DO work, this app is more than worth it's price tag (Free). It is still pretty beta, so expect updates to fix all of these issues. There are sporadic reports of this app not working at all on some devices. As always, you'll probably be pretty safe completely ignoring the market comments; try it out for yourself and see if it works for you. You can check out the XDA thread to give suggestions and get some questions answered. You can hit up the Android Market to grab the app for free:

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • JD

    I'm rooted, but I think I'll stick with Google Voice's call screening options. You can handle differently types of problem callers differently. For folks who might have something important to say, but I just don't want to talk to them, they get sent straight to VM. If they're of the "how the hell did YOU get this number variety," they get the "This Number is No Longer in Service" treatment.

    http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=115089

  • Jordan

    "Also, how can I be more like you?"

    Well, answer it man! You're keeping us all in suspense over here.

  • derk p

    yeah i just tried this app on my evo 4g and blocked a number and called it, the caller would still hear the phone ring followed by VM as soon as the phone "registers" someone is calling. still a no go

  • wreckedandjealous

    I used to have a similar app on my nokia...
    but you could choose how you wanted it handled...
    for... you could even do voice and number presses for them
    "hi... you have called seans mobile, I am currently in a meating, and should not be taking calls... if it is an emergency, press 1 (if they press 1 it will call the mobile)
    if not, press 2 (go to voice mail).."

    it also had a built in voice mail system, so any messages get stored on the phone that you can then listen to for free (in australia we get charged to listen to voice messages)

  • sam

    Worst app ever, completely wrecked my phone, after downloading it told me to reboot, well I tried, it never booted back up, so I had the opportunity to completely wipe my phone with Odin in order to get it working

  • prashanth

    "NEEDS ROOT ACCESS " how to give root access to app. i am new to android and I am using xperia arc. plz suggest me how to root the application. waiting for reply.

  • nick

    How do I root my evo

  • Kas

    This app is crap. How do you block TEXT MESSAGES? I've tried everything and the messages keep coming through. What am I doing wrong?!

  • Ryan

    This app is garbage and so is the developer Fahrbot. Don't waste your money and go with an app that works or a developer that cares about the customer. My experience with this app and customer support was the worst Ive ever had.

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