X BLOCKR : An App to Duck ,Drop or Divert Unwanted Calls .


 Much as I like the convenience of cellphone and freedom it offers to my family and friends to reach me at anytime ,still it won't stop me from asserting that this freedom comes at a price . And there are days when this price seems to be a bit too much . when you are connected ,then everyone from credit card salesperson to automated IVR based advertisements bid for your attention. you always run a risk of getting  distracted. In addition to these unsolicited calls there are people whom you know ,but who call you at wrong/ inconvenient hours .While you can afford to ignore the unsolicited calls but ignoring calls from people you know is tricky .you don't want to offend them.

All these situation are the reason why there is a plethora of call management application available . Their is a genuine need for such applications but unfortunately in spite of all these offering, the problem is far from solved . Adaptation of all these call management software is very little . I have tried 6 such device based application and 2 Network based call management services but none of them worked for me . from UI to work flow to configuration there were many issue with them. All I was looking for was a simple.easy to use  app which do what I mentioned above . XBLOCKR is one such application which is nearest to my idea of good call management application.  

Developed by Bangalore based Aquilonis Technologies ,X Blockr is an nifty app which help you to handle unwanted calls. its supported for Symbian ,Windows Mobile and BlackBerry Phones.Its a paid application with the price tag of $20 for international users, but it is specially priced at Rs. 349/- for Indian users. You can have a 100 call  Trial version for free . This trial version can be downloaded from their website( link). I sideloaded Xblocker to my  Nokia E63 . Installation was a smooth two step process . I was ready to use it instantly.

   
X blocker offer you a variety of response for spam calls .With Xblcoker you can choose to DUCK,DROP or DIVERT the call you don't want to answer . When you choose to  "Duck" a call ,the caller will hear a default busy message provided by the operator if you are subscribing to voice mail service this will be diverted to your voice mail box. There is also an option to duck with SMS, In that case app will send an automatic message to caller.You can also choose to "DROP" the call , doing this will answer the call for a second and disconnects instantly. This will sound like a network error to the caller .Finally there is an option to divert the call to a number of your choice .All of these three option can either be applied on case-by-case basis or can be configured as a default response to a specific number .Here one of the differentiators or  USP of Xblockr is the flexibility it offer to user to choose response on run time . User can choose to duck,drop or divert the call when He/She receive the call or at the end of call.This makes the list management very easy. 

In addition to that there is a functionality to define "Mode". By defining the mode you allocate a default response to every incoming call. As long as  XBLOCKR is set to that mode every call you receive will be answered with the response of your choice. There is also a provision to make a list of special number which can override the mode preference .As an end user I like this kind of granular control over incoming calls. A word of caution : You SHOULD put your Wife's number in that special number's list, whether you put your Boss's number there is entirely up to you :) .

I had a brief conversation with Mr.Rahul Rajguru ,CEO of Aquilonis Technologies. He mentioned that customer response to XBlockr has been very encouraging. they have acquired more than 25,000 downloads in less than two months.they are coming up Android support very soon and will be introducing New enhancements in  existing applications very soon. I will surely check them out. Do try X Blockr and let me know what you think of it .

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! All,

This gives only subset functionality which Airtel & IDEA are giving in their call manager Services charged @30Rs/Month.

IDEA - *556*3#
Airtel - *323*1#

With Regards,

Arjun said...

I tried it a few days back and this is a let down app.

I tried it for Nokia and Blackberry bold. It almost crashed Blackberry. Once installed, the bb slowed down to the point that I had to uninstall this junk. Installation was relatively better on Nokia though yet no where close to an international standard product.

ACM (advanced call manager) shipped with Nokia and otherwise downloadable offers much superior functionality.

Prashant Singh said...

@Anon :I am not sure if i have tried these services you mentioned but I have tried couple of network based call management services in past . Apart from the recurring cost another fundamental problem with those solution is that you have to manually populate the list of number to block /avoid . you can't even pick from phone book .That's a huge usability issue.
but these are excellent services for basic phones which can't support third party applications.

Prashant Singh said...

@Arjun : well ACM is a good product with a small but dedicated fan base . however i was never able to use it. it has the same issue as i mentioned in comment above . Plus UI was too complicated for me . but functionality vise it was a good product .

speaking of your experience of XBlockr on Blackberry . well As a app developer my self I don't dispute your observation . but there can be many reason for it . some of them might not have anything to do with application . I suggest you should contact support team at XBLOCKR . I am sure they would love to help you . let me know if you want me to connect you to them.

Javed said...

I have been using it on my BB Bold for a week and it's been fantastic. I am left with only 9 tries now so thinking of buying it. I have tried other apps from crackberry as well but this one stands out for sure.

Rohith said...

It's a cool app dude, was searching for such app and found one. I downloaded it from Airtel on my e71. Excited to use do not disturb feature.
You have written a good blog, Prashanth.

Srini said...

25000 downloads? where are they claiming this number from. Anyone who developed a mobile applications knowns the significant of 25000 downloads.

Don't take me wrong. xblockr might be a good application. However xblockr team & Rahul tries hard to sell this including faking numbers, faking comments, increasing download counts etc. Saw me single good onymous comment about xblockr. All we see is anonymous good comments (and you have a few proofs right here).

I agree with a commenter above, acm is a way ahead in game. It would be worthwhile if xblockr team comments why one should switch from acm to xblockr. only because it was made by Indian does not qualify it to be a good product.

Rahul said...

@Srini - you can contact xblockr offline through the website and you will be provided with enough AUTHENTIC (not fake) evidences of 25,000 downloads.
Apprpriate time, user experience and unique functionalities will highlight the differentiation factor in xblockr over other call managers. Please do keep an eye on it.

Prashant Singh said...

"All we see is anonymous good comments (and you have a few proofs right here)."

well.. Unless you are the only Srini on GOD's good earth, We now have,for all practical purpose, an anonymous BAD Comment about them too. Happy ??

Srini said...

@Rahul, share your statistic here, if you have & backed by third party data.

@Prashant, what makes you defend this app.

Prashant Singh said...

@sirini: I was not defending anything . I was only marking upon the paradox of you blaming someone of making anonymous comment while indulging in the same act yourself. Plus I believe that these discussions about Download Vs Install Vs Active Usage Vs Paying conversion Vs Ad impression are fundamentally non conclusive . no one really know the right parameter / benchmark for measuring Mobile application success . so everyone is free to choose his own matrix .

Virender said...

@srini...I do not understand what you are trying to impress upon over here, that you are a great guy having a robot mind and others are fool. I being an Indian and an entrepreneur living in the US very well understand what it takes to make a product. We do not see many products coming out of India and one of the reasons being people like you who are anti-innovation. Entrepreneurs are appreciated so much over here and probably that is the reason it is flourshing. I am quite sure you have not even tried this product once and keep on making absurd comments. You should appreciate the effort of an Indian entrepreneur who has thought out-of-the-box and come out with such an excellent product. Please try to understand that no product in the world comes perfect on the first go. I do not need to tell you this had you ever used ACM when they launched it for the first time.
Xblockr is far ahead from what others have to offer at the time of first launch and I am pretty sure that this one will scale quickly. I have used it on my HD2 and have no issues at all.
A quick note, I am neither an advocate to anybody and nor to this product. If you want to verify that this comment is genuine then drop me an email at virenderguha (@) hotmail (.) com and I will pass on my number so that you can reach me on the phone.
Be positive and appreciate others as India need more entrepreneurs.

@Prashant...do not allow monkeys to jump on something they never understand. I am sure there will be many to follow.

Aninda said...

Useless application. I will stick to advanced call manager.

Nirav said...

Keep up the good work! congratulations to the Xblockr team. Great App...I am fan of this one.

Cheers:)

Anonymous said...

Gents,

Thanks for a great discussion so far.My 2cents on this are :

a) Call management apps can never be effective unless part of the wizadry is done on the network and part on the device.Thats the reason y network based call manager have zero app access and handset based apps have zero visibility on what network is capable of inless they are hand in glove.

I will illustrate this with a simple example which turns the table for network based products rather than all such apps that are available starting from Nokia bundled Advanced call manager ACM)

if a user is busy in a meeting and does not wish to take calls, ideally he should be able to put it network wide as his meeting starts and NOT as always in an app only scenario that the phone will still page, handset based apps get invoked, he after getting distracted or disturbed then "takes an action " which is fundamentally wrong. As a user the network should know his "state" and turn the caller away and not let the call come it the user level.

I am using Airtel promoted Airtel Call manager from 6 months and here is my observations after having thorought tested it .

1. subscribe by paying Rs 30 a month *323# and as soon as you are subscribed , you are pushed a handset link for the app access. currently airtel supports all BB,Nokia( symbian 60/90) and J2ME MIDP2.0 devices. Needless to say all newer phones like iphone,android is not yet supported but it should be a matter of time.

2. All mass users ( pls see what kind of phones people use in India) if not supported above have the foll alternate access mechanisms

IVR : 52323
ussd :*323#
web: http://cm.airtel.in
sms : send anything to 52323

This makes by far means a true call mgmt app accessble to all and sundry.
3) I am told that the service is only beta and live only in delhi so far and they plan to go all India from Monday next week so expect some glitches if experimenting right now.
4)The service has following profile like meeting/driving/not reachable/roaming so far and am told that lot more can be added without changing or doing anything ( dynamically ).

As far as the Rs 30 price point is concerned, its all right for the "value" that it gives , I would imagine. I would rate it better value than something like a ring back tone, IMHO.

Thanks

Venkatesh

Anonymous said...

This app is a piece of crap.. It freezes the mobile frequently. Dont know why & how these guys got so much hype. Forget to get it at 349, will not use even if it is free. Useless.

Anonymous said...

25000 Downloads in 2 months for such a sh*t app?

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