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This genius idea could eliminate telephone call anxiety for good

iPhone 5c
iPhone 5c (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Some people are anxious about incoming phone calls.
  • A concept imagines a world where people have to tell you what they want before you ever answer.
  • This might not work for phone calls, but it could absolutely work for FaceTime video and audio calls.

Some people suffer from anxiety whenever they receive a telephone call and sometimes that comes from not knowing what the person who is calling wants. Wouldn't it be cool if we could know what that call is about before we answer it?

That's something that Dan Mall's wife also thought, so he set about creating a concept of what that might look like. The result is a system that has the caller enter the reason for their call before placing it. Then, that description appears on-screen when you receive the call on your iPhone. It's a simple fix for a real problem.

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The concept also imagines a world where the iPhone would automatically send a call to voicemail if no description has been provided, adding another layer or protection.

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While it seems unlikely that this would work with standard telephone calls, Apple could definitely apply it to both video and audio FaceTime calls — although the voicemail thing wouldn't work seeing as there's no voicemail for FaceTime at all.

I think this would be a brilliant addition to iOS and I'd love to see Apple implement some version of it if only for call screening purposes. The best iPhone is an iPhone that I never have to talk on as far as I'm concerned! I can't be the only one who feels that way, surely?

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

4 Comments
  • I have an idea: have your outgoing voicemail message say "i don't answer the phone, please text me."
  • "A concept imagines a world where people have to tell you what they want before you ever answer."
    You don't have to imagine it. Buy a Pixel*. I used the call screening feature this morning. It tells the caller, I'm screening, state your purpose. It transcribes what they say real time for you, and you can choose to answer, let them complete, or just hang up on them.
    *Not sure what other Android phones it works on.
  • It's a Pixel exclusive feature. But one that's been around for a couple of years now.
  • This is a bad idea for a number of reasons - one, casual phone calling is the one last real social bit left in our lives now. Second, if you don't want some one to call you, they can always text and tell you what they want (in case of an emergency). This is a case of over-designing for something. This can also become abusive by bullies who can type anything they like when dialing. I just hope such a feature doesn't make its way into our phones. What next? Are you going to have people type agendas into phone call subjects?