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Apple considered messenger-like status options for phone calls

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A great thing about messenger apps is letting people know when you're away (even if you're not). Convenient, no? An Apple patent spotted by AppleInsider describes a feature that would let you do the same for voice calls, too. Since it's just a patent and (and thus, might never be developed), Cupertino doesn't have anything solid on how the system will work. The documents submitted to the trademark office do offer some ideas, though. For instance, it says the feature would upload data about its condition (such as its ringer volume, vibration status, device location, cellular strength, battery life, etc.) to a remote server.

This will effectively set your "status," so when callers look up your address book entry on their phones, they'll see if you're on vibrate/airplane mode or running out of battery -- suggesting you don't want to, or can't be bothered. They'll even see if you're in another time zone, among other details. The document mentions that, if implemented, it will come with the power to opt out of showing info you don't want others to know. Apple might have to conjure up more ways to assuage people's privacy fears if the feature did arrive -- after all, their data will be uploaded to a remote server. We'll take the risk on privacy, if it can potentially reduce unnecessary calls from work, right?

[Image credit: USPTO]

Source: USPTO
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