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Call Ranger – Range Block Spam

Block Spam Callers once and forever!

Developer: Konstantinos Papadakis

Date of purchase: 13.04.2020 for 1.09 EUR

Rating: ***** 5 stars

Compatibility: Requieres iOS 11.0 or later!
Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish

Support: by e-mail (English). Monthly update of the blocklist. The developer answered my e-mail (problem with version 3.0.0) in a friendly and competent way and quickly released the bug-fixed version 3.0.1 (in the meantime 4.1.1 is up to date).

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.

Initial Setup

Before the big update that just came out, setting it up was a bit tricky because Apple hadn't made it so easy for developers.
Presumably iOS 14.3 (?) brought the big improvement for Apple CallKit, which now makes setting up Call Ranger a matter of minutes.
I will try to find out since which version this has been changed by Apple. I'm really interested.

Icon light bulb for really important note!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 …

Icon light bulb for really important note!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» with the option «Block and identify calls».

New: since version 4.0.0 the slow and patient activation of 25 instances is gone!

After that, choose your call identification & blocking options in the app and get rid of those annoying phone calls once and for all!

Blocking individual Telephone Numbers

No longer exists. This can be done very conveniently (since iOS 14?) via address book and phone app: save annoying persons as contact and block them.
Icon light bulbSimple without an extra app: select Settings/Phone/Blocked Contacts/Add Contact. Search for names in the address book, select, done. While you're at it, add annoying insurance agents, colleagues, etc. When you have finished, press Cancel at the top right. This will take you directly back to the «black list» without selecting a new candidate and you can also unblock a candidate by swiping the name to the left. Then «Unblock» appears to the right of the candidate, which you tap to confirm.

Blocking a Number Range

Enter the country code of the phone number (e.g. »49« für Deutschland), the telephone number you want to block for range blocking (area code without zero!) and then select your preferred range lock option (new: unlimited range number rules with 8-digit placeholders, the previous iOS restrictions have been removed).

Functional Test

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.

I have not yet been able to judge whether the standard database contains enough German spammers to be helpful for German users.
However, for a week now I have been getting daily calls on one of my mobile numbers from a well-known spammer from Speyer (+49 6232 68634xxx).
Actually, I had already entered their number range manually earlier, just like that of the Hamburg spammer (+49 40 80000095xx).
Come to think of it – on this iPhone I delete the block again for fun and see if the calls continue.
No problem, if this spammer is not yet in the developer´s standard database, then I type the number range again manually.

But the call-blocking function itself I have repeatedly tested successfully:

Test Setup:

  1. iPhone Xs only with eSIM by Telefónica
  2. 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:

After correct Setup (see above) on both iPhones, the app/phone extension was active and I could start:

  1. on the iPhone Xs I stored my Deutsche Telekom phone number as unwanted for testing
  2. 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. smiley

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 dashboard 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 …


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Keyword list: Apps, Call Ranger, Conclusion, Database, E-Mail, IT, Mobile Apps, Spam, Update, User, eSIM, iPhone

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