Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Apple Patent Depicts Advances in Handling Incoming Calls

By - Source: USPTO | B 37 comments

Calls can be put on hold, as well as the ability to save voice mails in a text format.

A new Apple patent that was recently approved will provide enhanced methods to handling incoming calls by either putting them on hold or saving voice mails as an SMS.

Approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent is entitled "Dynamic Context-Based Auto-Response Generation," which aims to provide consumers with options when they're on a call or just generally unavailable.

The system can be completely automated. If the user can't answer the call, the caller receives a pre-recorded message based on the caller ID and other aspects. The caller would then be asked to leave a voice mail. That scenario would be triggered if, for example, the phone detects a user driving or if they're occupied, to which it'll then automatically forward an incoming call to voice mail.

Another scenario enables users to manually determine how to handle the call; one can choose to answer it, send it to voice mail or place it on hold. The latter option allows users to set the hold time and transmit that information to their callers, who will then decide if they wish to remain on hold or switch to voice mail.

Messages that are left in a user's voice mail can be converted to text, allowing you to read them when you're occupied with another call. While it's too early to tell due to the amount of patents that don't come into fruition, Apple may integrate the feature into the inevitable iPhone 6 (or/and iPhone 5S).

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Display 37 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    dcrussian , December 17, 2012 3:05 AM
    Soooo.... It's basically Google Voice?
  • 24 Hide
    mightymaxio , December 17, 2012 3:09 AM
    Android has had this for years now, I feel another lawsuit coming on
  • 20 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 17, 2012 3:04 AM
    A more proper title: More ammunition for the endless patent war where only the consumers and innovation lose.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 17, 2012 3:04 AM
    A more proper title: More ammunition for the endless patent war where only the consumers and innovation lose.
  • 30 Hide
    dcrussian , December 17, 2012 3:05 AM
    Soooo.... It's basically Google Voice?
  • 24 Hide
    mightymaxio , December 17, 2012 3:09 AM
    Android has had this for years now, I feel another lawsuit coming on
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , December 17, 2012 3:18 AM
    same thing in my android
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , December 17, 2012 3:28 AM
    Uh, this is supposes to be new? Who are these journalists working for!?
  • 11 Hide
    sharksman , December 17, 2012 3:31 AM
    Zack iSlam with another useless apple blurb. It will take a couple of years an some lawsuits and this patent to be reversed ..
  • 12 Hide
    mightymaxio , December 17, 2012 3:32 AM
    @Wildkitten you must not have looked hard enough because its right there under "Call" its called set reject messages. Then you have voicemail to text feature that you can enable as well. Granted its not entirely the same on stock ICS but you can get more features like the ones described by many free apps that are out there.
  • 9 Hide
    benikens , December 17, 2012 3:33 AM
    For people questioning how you do this on Android, Tasker is your answer for this and so much more.
  • 18 Hide
    LORD_ORION , December 17, 2012 3:36 AM
    Call screening has been around for years...

    Call behavior based on presence information is a major design intent included in modern telecom protocols. Jesus, the scenario listed by Apple is actually in the SIP spec itself.

    As usual, pay your fee and you'll get your patent, regardless of how inane it is... it can always be sorted out through litigation.
  • -9 Hide
    reprotected , December 17, 2012 3:57 AM
    In a few years, everyone will be bashing on Google. Apple is no more evil than any other large company, it's only since they've been the center of attention of bringing new trends to technology.
  • 13 Hide
    freggo , December 17, 2012 4:18 AM
    wildkittenSo, you are saying that a person or company that invents something shouldn't be allowed to patent t he idea? Get rid of patents and you stifle innovation just as much as granting patents for broad, vague ideas.The thing is, developing a technology that can recognize who is calling, say for example a spouse, and gives them a different voicemail message than say your boss, well, that is not a broad or vague technology. That is actually a very good idea. Not to mention something that can detect what you are doing and base how it handles calls based on that action automatically.


    It does not recognize who is calling, it checks the caller ID.
    Not the same thing.
    I have an old Samsung Flip Phone that I can program to do different things depending on who calls. Incl. sending to voice mail.

    This is nothing but a variation on a programmable answering machine; been round for years and crap like this should simply not be patentable in the first place.

  • 6 Hide
    mrmez , December 17, 2012 5:10 AM
    Looking at p0rn = Straight to voicemail.
  • 7 Hide
    jonjonjon , December 17, 2012 5:53 AM
    i really don't understand how patent system work. you shouldn't be able to just patent an idea. you should only be able to patent the specific technology that makes the idea work. if another phone company wants to send a text message instead of a voice mail they should be able to.
  • 4 Hide
    dakkon , December 17, 2012 6:58 AM
    WTF? this is already present for android if automation, scheduling of calls and unanswered response is based on who is calling! look at the app below one of the best, it may say its for call blocking but basically the description of the patent is the same function of many of the apps available to android. So how is this inovation in the part of apple? what did they invent int their patent?

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fahrbot.apps.rootcallblocker.pro&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImZhaHJib3QuYXBwcy5yb290Y2FsbGJsb2NrZXIucHJvIl0.
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , December 17, 2012 7:27 AM
    reprotectedIn a few years, everyone will be bashing on Google. Apple is no more evil than any other large company, it's only since they've been the center of attention of bringing new trends to technology.


    I beg to differ... I've hated apple since they sued Microsoft because they claimed to have 'invented' GUI with mouse. Which they didn't, Xerox did. This would have been in the late 80's. The only machine of theirs that I ever liked at ALL was the apple II line. It was ahead of it's time for a short period in the late 70's. That was the 'other Steve's' invention (Wozniak).
  • 9 Hide
    Vorador2 , December 17, 2012 8:08 AM
    Jesus, features like that have been around for years on all types of phones. Apple is really patenting anything regardless of prior art.

    Someone should check if there's an Apple mole in the USPTO. That patents like this pass trough is not normal.
  • 2 Hide
    ojas , December 17, 2012 8:23 AM
    I regret i clicked on this news link. Was 90% sure this was a zak article.
  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , December 17, 2012 9:42 AM
    ojasI regret i clicked on this news link. Was 90% sure this was a zak article.


    Zak is an expert in Apple, so he might as well write on it. I jsut wish he would write on other topics as well, since most of his news are not related too hardware a lot.
Display more comments