Call Ranger – Range Block Spam
Be in Peace with your Phone
Developer: Konstantinos Papadakis
Date of purchase: 13.04.2020 for 1.09 EUR
Rating: ***** 5 stars
Compatibility: Requieres iOS 10.0 or later!
Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Support: by e-mail (English). Monthly update of the blocklist via software update in the App Store. Developer has answered my e-Mail fast and friendly. The update with optimised code was fast delivered. Version 3.0.2 is excellent!
Features: Call Ranger blocks unwanted calls from Marketing, Robocall, Collection and Scam callers using a predefined blacklist.
User-defined blocking rules are also possible.
Call Ranger is no ordinary app, but a user interface for a system extension of the phone app! This is called Apple CallKit and was first introduced with iOS version 10.0.
If you don't follow the paragraph Setup, the app won't work!
Even if you have ignored all iOS updates so far and are not using at least iOS 10.0, Call Ranger will not work.
Many users of such apps (not only this one!) have given bad 1-star ratings in the App Store rather than reading the simple instructions slowly and following them step by step …
A restart of the iPhone can work wonders, if the app still doesn't work immediately after first setup and run …
Setup: Install Call Ranger and activate it under «Settings, Phone» qwith the option «Block and identify calls».
Attention, new since version 3.0.0: now you have to activate 25 instances slowly and patiently one after the other! But this is only necessary once. Your iPhone gets warm because this action requires much more processor power. This is normal and only now during setup! If you set the 25 checkmarks very slowly (only 2-3 in a row, then pause until all 25 checkmarks are set), the app will work reliably aafterwards.
Important: if an error message appears after setting a check mark, remove the check briefly and set it again a minute later.
Choose your Call Identification & Blocking options in the app settings menu and get rid of annoying phone calls once and for all!
Block a specific phone number:
Enter the country code of the phone number (e.g.: «49» for Germany), then the phone number without (!) leading zero of the area code/mobile network area code).
If the app is not finished as announced a few minutes later and this message does not disappear, the app has crashed and must be reinstalled. This happened to me with a rather short landline number.
The 25 instances (see above) don't have to be set again afterwards. The iPhone memorizes or remembers this.
Update: This was a bug in this new extended version 3.0.0.
Version 3.0.1 was the bug fix for that issue.
Block a range of phone numbers:
Enter the country code of the phone number (e.g.: «49» for Germany), the phone number you want to block for range blocking (area code without zero!) and select your preferred range blocking option (up to 10 million combinations; 7-digit numbers; up to 50 million combinations in total using 25 app extensions due to iOS limitations).
Fortunately, I have only rarely been bothered by unwanted callers for several years.
Years before that, I had an extremely high number of annoying callers.
Therefore I could not yet judge whether the current 385,976 entries of the block list contain enough German spammers to be helpful for German users.
But the call blocking function itself I could test successfully:
- iPhone Xs only with eSIM by Telefónica
- iPhone 11 Pro with eSIM by Telefónica and NanoSIM by Deutsche Telekom
For the test I deactivated the eSIM in iPhone 11 Pro (2.). So I could exclude that the expected busy signal is caused by unintentional dialing of my own phone number. «Do not disturb» was deactivated.
More Settings in the Phone app:
- Send my caller ID
- Mute unknown callers
- no call forwarding
After correct Setup (see above) on both iPhones, the app/phone extension was active and I could start:
- on the iPhone Xs I stored my Deutsche Telekom phone number as unwanted for testing
- with the iPhone 11 Pro I simulated the unwanted caller and called the Telefónica phone number with the Deutsche Telekom phone number
As expected, the unwanted caller immediately received a busy signal. I could repeat this as often as I wanted, it was no coincidence, but reproducibly perfect function.
I also did the test the other way round and simulated the evil caller with the older iPhone Xs – also flawless.
Friendly User Interface
The manual creation of number blocks is very convenient, because after entering the beginning in "From:" Call Ranger itself makes reasonable suggestions what could be set in "To:".
So you only need to accept one of the suggestions by tapping it.
Any dialogue with the user is easy and unambiguously understandable.
Although this app is «only» a Frontensegeln to the iOS phone extension Apple CallKit and you will rarely run it after a one-time setup, developer Konstantinos Papadakis has given a lot of thought to the user interface. This is a good thing, because the less often you use an app, the longer the training period.
Conclusion: highly recommended!
Looking for a call filter that really works and doesn't need a cloud or an expensive subscription, I found and still find only this one – for a fair price! Apple does not check App submissions for functionality, but for harmlessness. But this does not mean protection against rip-offs …