Apple’s App Store approval process has been known to be a very long and hard process for iOS app developers. Although Apple had loosened app approval process back in September of 2010, it seems that certain apps are still taking a good amount of time in limbo before receiving the green light.

One such application happens to be the TrapCall app by Tel Tech Systems Inc. The app went officially live today after 201 days (almost 7 months) in review by Apple.

TrapCall puts an end to those annoying blocked and private calls, claiming to be the first and only service to unmask blocked calls.

Basically, if you receive a call from a blocked number, simply tap the sleep button twice to decline it and direct the call over to TrapCall. Within seconds, the service sends your handset a text message with precise caller information, including the name, telephone number and address (when available) of the blocked caller.

The app also allows you to blacklist (block) numbers, and transcribe your voicemails into text and send them via text messages, email or push notifications.

Although there has been speculation of the legality of this app, Tel Tech Systems Inc’s Product Manager, Nate Kapitanski, has provided a detailed description of the technology used by the service:

“The “push the power button twice to reject the call” thing sort of makes it sound like we are doing something with the hardware that we’re not supposed to, but this is really just the easiest way to tell users that they have to ignore or reject the calls for their conditional call-forwarding to send the call to our 800 number for unmasking.

The service is actually 100% percent legal as we’ve even dealt with the FCC on this. The reason the app is legal is because the way the service works is that missed and rejected calls get forwarded to an 800 number for unmasking. The FCC has made it clear that because the owner of an 800 number has to pay for every incoming call to their number, that they’re entitled to see who is calling them – even if the caller ID is blocked.

So our users are essentially leasing a toll-free number from us which entitles them to the call information. We had to have our lawyers detail this info and send it to Apple….once they finally got back to us after 3+ months in review.”

The app is available for free in the App Store, but requires a $5 per month subscription fee to unmask the calls. [iTunes Link]

Anyone try the app yet, or thinking about giving it a shot?

[9to5Mac]

  • Binary-Stalker

    A smart theif could trick the less smart users of the Internet to call them for various reasons. The theif can then get all contact info.

    Good idea, but many more bad uses than good.

  • Binary-Stalker

    That is, if the victim is still smart enough to use *67.

  • Binary-Stalker

    Typo. Thief.

  • Burge

    USA only by the look of it ..

  • Patrick Nilsson

    In Sweden, we had an app like this for months

  • ecard

    Not in Canada 🙁

  • XepptizZ

    Sounds like another loophole to infringe on privacy, yay

  • Thor

    Hey, I PAY for every call I receive on my iPhone! Why don’t I get the same service as an 800 number?

    Oh, I forgot I am not a member of the Chamber and make large political donations. I am just a mere citizen.

    • Wikan

      Do you pay for receiving calls? Are you serious? Never heard of that before and i owned probably around 40 sim cards from different countries while traveling.

      • IndiePhoenix

        Yes, I also could not believe this but it seems that in the USA they also pay for incoming calls… 😀

  • Kev

    $60 a year. Laugh, having a.

  • Grable

    i have been using trapcall for about a year and a half (still have my $2.99 price per month) since before i even got an iphone. i remember when they sent in the app for approval. with that said i own a business and get a lot of random threatening calls from people saying they are going to rob/kill me etc because they were unhappy at the store. this is super handy and i only see good uses. before i had this i just wouldnt even answer blocked calls. now i answer and then fuck with them.

  • Jason Masters

    This has been out for years it’s just now packaged and it used to be free! Although it does not work for any pre paid at- all…

  • Grable

    and as far as legality is concerned if youre hiding your identity in the first place then you have to wonder who the real criminal is on the line? but all it does is fwd your call to an 800 # then back to you. nothing illegal there. if anyone else wanted to pay for an 800 # they could do the same thing (i just find it cheaper and easier this way). honestly dont care if they have an app though considering its not that difficult to program pretty much any phone to do it even without an app. but good for them.

  • Free service YouMail will do most of this for you, and provides more flexibility in handling your voicemail via their (long-since-approved) app or website. So it’s not something I’m going to try out. But I like that call-handling-modification apps are getting approved because there’s a lot of potential for customization there.

  • Anonymous

    Is this TrapCall service available in Canada? If so, would it work on a Blackberry?

  • Ediot

    Second that, what app is that?

  • Ediot

    What app is that?