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?