In the future, iPhones may be able to automatically detect spam calls and warn you about them.
Scammers can attempt to trick you by spoofing the caller ID information that shows up on your phone to make it look like someone else is calling, like a member of law enforcement, your electric company, or a relative, Apple notes in the patent application.
“The spoofing caller may attempt to induce the called party to take some financial action detrimental to the called party based on this trust of the observed caller ID value,” Apple wrote. “In some countries, this kind of financial scam is widespread and a problem for everyday users of mobile devices.”
Apple’s system would allow your iPhone to check, in real time, if a call is legit. If it’s bogus, the phone would either display a warning to let you know, or automatically prevent the call from bothering you.
This feature sounds extremely helpful, but don’t get too excited. For now, this is just a patent, and there’s no guarantee this technology will make it to market. As AppleInsider notes, Apple would need to collaborate with telecom firms to make this feature a reality.
Apple isn’t the only phone maker working to tackle the issue of unwanted calls, though. At its Pixel 3 event earlier this week, Google introduced a new feature called Call Screen, which answers the phone for you to ask who’s calling. It will then transcribe the response in real time on your screen to make sure you “never have to talk to another telemarketer,” Google says. Call Screen is launching on the Pixel 3 and coming to the whole Pixel family next month.