App Spotlight: Call Bliss turbocharges iOS Do Not Disturb feature

When iOS 6 arrived earlier this year, it brought with it a handy new feature: Do Not Disturb, which blocks calls and alerts that arrive during designated hours.

Call Bliss adds a number of business-friendly features to Do Not Disturb, effectively making your iPhone smarter about who can reach you, where, and when.

For starters, Call Bliss lets you create caller groups ("supervisors," for example, or "important family members"), then enable or disable—in other words, allow calls from or disallow calls from—those groups at will.

It also adds location-awareness to Do Not Disturb, meaning you can designate which callers can reach you at particular locations: home, the office, and so on. And because it supports geo-fencing (of a sort), it will automatically switch your allowed-callers lists depending on where you are, no input required from you.

All these options are conveniently organized into three tabs: Allowed, Groups, and Places. There's also a Blackout Mode that blocks all calls and an Open Door Mode that lets through all callers—as long as they're in your address book. In the middle there's Always Allowed, which lets select people get through no matter what.

It would be nice if Call Bliss allowed you to configure more Do No Disturb time blocks as well, but for now you're limited to the one that iOS lets you set.

The best news is that the app doesn't require you to jailbreak your phone. Instead, you merely need to enable the Bliss Exceptions group in Do Not Disturb's "Allow Calls From" setting. (See the Call Bliss help page for more detailed instructions.)

This is one of those apps that can really improve on what's already available in iOS, much like MailShot does for email. If you're constantly dealing with unwanted calls, Call Bliss is $2.99 very well spent.

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