Blocking Calls on an iPhone

I took the plunge today and had my AT&T landline disconnected. My daughter and I stopped answering the house phone years ago because anybody we wanted to talk with called us on our cell phones. The only reason we used the home phone was to find a “missing” cell phone lost in the wasteland we call home.


Over the past few months, I’ve begun getting solicitation calls on my iPhone. Not sure how they got the number, but they did. The good news is there’s an easy way to block them. Built into iOS 7 is a Block Callers feature. (If you haven’t upgraded to iOS 7, there’s a workaround. More about that below.)


Not only do their phone calls not go through, you can block their Face time calls, text messages, iMessages and emails as long as you have their email, phone number and Apple ID in their Contacts entry.


So, What happens to their call?

When someone you’ve blocked tries to call, they get redirected to a voicemail box that doesn’t exist. Text messages and emails get dropped into the abyss. There’s no indication on their side that you’ve blocked them!


Make it so!

The process of blocking a caller is simple…


  • Open the phone app on your iPhone and go the “Recents” list.
  • Find the caller you want to block.
    (Note: If they’re not in the Recent list but you have them in your Contacts, select Contacts
    at the bottom of the phone app and find their entry. You won’t find the “Block this Caller” option if you go to their entry via the Contacts application. Then skip to step 4.)


  • Select the info button on the far right of their name.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and select “Block this Caller”
    Block this caller 
  • From the pop-up window, select “Block Contact”.Block Contact


And that’s it! No muss. No fuss. No smelly odors!! Oh, and if you have a change of heart, you can unblock them later.




But What if i’m not on iOS 7?

So, what if you haven’t or can’t upgrade to iOS 7? Well, there’s a solution for you too. We’ll create a “Blocked Calls” entry in your Contacts to handle this.


  • Open the Contacts application and press the “+” button to create a new entry.
  • Name the entry something meaningful like “Blocked Caller List”.
  • Add all the phone numbers you want to ignore into this entry.
  • Set the ringtone to silent. To do this, you’ll need to buy or create a “silent” ringtone. (See Making a Silent Ringtone below. Its easy to make.)
  • Change the default vibration setting to “None”.
  • Change the text tone and vibration settings to “None”. 

Change these




Making a Silent Ring tone…

You can make a silent ring tone in a matter of seconds using QuickTime Player. Here’s how…


  • Launch QuickTime Player.
  • Select “New Audio Recording” from the File menu.
  • Within the “Audio Recording” window, double click on the red record button. This will create an audio recording of 0 seconds in length.
  • Save the file to your desktop. Give it a meaningful name, like “silent”.
  • Find the file on our desktop and rename it to “silent.m4r”. A dialogue box will appear asking if you really want to save the file with the new extension. Yes, you do!
  • Double click on “silent.m4r”. This will import it into iTunes.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and select it in iTunes.
  • From the menu, select the Tones menu.
    Select Tone menu 
  • From the Tones menu, check “Sync Tones” if isn’t selected already.
    Select Sync Tones 
  • Then, check “silent” in the list of ringtones and click on the “Apply” button on the bottom right side of iTunes. You now have a new ringtone available which you can assign to your blocked caller entry.

iOS 6: Trouble Uploading Photos to Facebook?

After installing iOS 6, I found I couldn’t upload photos. I got the following error message: This app does not have access to your photos or videos. You can enable access in Privacy Settings. This may have occurred to me and others if we mistakenly denied facebook access to our photos the first time we used the facebook application. The fix is easy:

Go to Settings > Privacy > Photos. Be sure Facebook is ON. (Depending on the applications you have installed, you might see other apps here.)

Facebook photos


Remote Shutter Release for your iDevice

Many photo sharing sites have noted that the iPhone is the camera used most often to take the pictures published on their sites. Despite owning a nice DSLR, my iPhone accounts for over 90% of the photos I post online. There’s nothing handier than the camera you have with you all the time.

When trying to capture low-light shots, there are times I wish I had a remote shutter release. Even when taking photos with lots of light, there are times when I find it hard to hold the camera still while simultaneously taking the picture using only one hand.

The iPhone ear buds can be used as a remote shutter release. While in the Camera app, press either of the up/down volume buttons to take a photo.

Shutter Release

This also works on an iPad and iPod touch. Check it out!

iOS 6: Organize Your Camera Roll Photos into Albums

By many accounts, the iPhone is the world’s most popular camera for taking photos and posting on-line. If you’re like a lot of people, your Camera Roll (the collection of photos you’ve kept on your iPhone) has gotten so overgrown, it’s hard to find the photos you’re interested in. Did you know you can organize the photos in your camera roll into albums?

1. Launch the Photos app (Not the Camera app) and select the Camera Roll.

2. Tap on the Edit button on the upper right hand corner and tap on all the photos you want to assemble into an album.

Create Photo Album

3. When you’re finished selecting photos, tap on the Add To button, then select Add to New Album. Next, enter a name for the album, then press Save.

If you wish to add photos to an existing album, follow the same steps but choose Add to Existing Album instead.A photo may belong to more than one album. 

You can delete photos from an album at any time. This will not delete them from the Camera Roll. However, if you delete a photo from the Camera Roll, it will also delete them from all albums.

Note: Prior to iOS 6, the process is the same but the position and style of some of the buttons may be different.

iOS 6: Emailing a photo just got easier…

Prior to iOS 6, the process of emailing a photo required you to start in the Photos application and email the photo from there. You couldn’t do it from within the Mail application. iOS 6 changes this.

When composing an email on your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, double tap in the body of the message. The familiar option bar (Select | Select All | Paste, etc.) will appear. A new choice has been added – Insert Photo or Video. (On the iPhone/iPod, tap on the arrow on the far right of the option bar to get to this option.)

Insert Photo

Tap on Insert Photo or Video and you’ll be taken to Photos. Select the photo or video you want to attach. Repeat this step if you want to attach more than one photo or video.