How To Block An Ex (Or Anyone Else) On Your Smartphone

BlogHer Original Post

Call Blocker

Call Blocker enables you to block unwanted calls, with an option to forward them (to the Rejection Hotline, perhaps?), black list delinquent text-senders, backup your phone contacts to a server so you never lose them, and transfer your old data cross-platform (Android, Blackberry and Symbian).

The app also lets you erase your call and text message histories in a few easy steps. If you're thinking this sounds like a perfect app for a cheater, you're right. Call Blocker Premium lets you take calls and receive texts in Private Space instead of your phone's actual call and SMS logs. It also allows you to create a fake Private Space that you can show your (clearly not very) significant other to prove you're upholding your vows to be loyal, even (especially) when you're not.

(Cheating is never honorable, but if you’re going to do it, please have the decency to do it right.)

Anyway, the free version of this app is available on Android (for Eclair, Froyo, Ginger Bread, and Honeycomb) and now supports Chinese, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish. And it plays nice with Google Voice, for those of you who use it -- though Google Voice has a whole array of settings for controlling who can call or text and when. Seriously, you wouldn't need any of these apps if you'd given your ex your Google Voice number to begin with. iPhone users unfortunately need not apply -- the App Store doesn't offer Google Voice. Apple just wasn't down with the competition.


iBlacklist is a simple app: you open it up and add the numbers you don't want to receive calls or text messages from. You can add as many as you like, either by group or individually. You can make the app direct a caller to voicemail, give them a busy signal, or hang up on them immediately. Blocked and restricted numbers get the same treatment, so you don't get caught unawares.

You can go reverse, too: instead of blocking a few numbers, you can specify which numbers you want to allow to reach you by creating a whitelist. This option enables only the whitelisted numbers to contact you and rejects everyone else -- perfect for when you're expecting a call or text from one person and don't want to deal with any other interruptions. The app also allows you to schedule your blacklists and whitelists, so, for example, you can set your phone to enable only family and friends to reach you after business hours.

This app is targeted for iPhone, and the fact that you can't buy the $12.00 beauty from the Apple App Store should be a fairly big hint. Basically, the only way you're going to be able to use this app is if you're willing to jailbreak your phone. For the record, as of 2010, the legality of jailbreaking is no longer ambiguous: jailbreaking is perfectly legal in the U.S.

The downside of jailbreaking is that Apple disallows jailbroken phones from gaining access to software updates, so basically, every time an update comes out, if you want to get it, you have to restore the device to factory settings, update, then jailbreak it again when the updated jailbreak for iOS becomes available. There are a lot of forums online that can help you figure out if an upgrade is worth the trouble or if there are apps you can download to achieve similar results.

It's true that jailbreaking might void your warranty but if you really need to take in your phone for repair, you can restore it to factory settings and book it to the Apple Store without a Genius really being the wiser.

It's easy to embrace the simplicity of devices that do everything without us having to give it much thought, but there is a danger in that as well. The less we understand our devices, the easier it is for manufacturers and carriers to dictate what we can and cannot do with our gadgets. Four dollars and 99 cents may not seem like a lot of money, but that's almost $60 per year -- and it still wouldn't give Harriet half the options she could get by jailbreaking her iPhone and installing an app like iBlacklist. And for those of us who don't have iDevices, the possibilities are even more varied -- and in most cases, completely free.

You can accept what carriers and manufacturers demand of consumers and be a good little sheep and fork over the money and expect little in return or you can dare to, you know, Think different. Rethink Possible. Rule the Air. Etc.

AV Flox is the section editor of Love & Sex and Health on BlogHer. You can connect with her on Twitter @avflox, Google Plus +AV Flox, or e-mail her directly at av.flox AT


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