Skip to main content

First look - Nokia adds Call and SMS filters to Lumias with GDR2 update today

We've already covered what's been included in GDR2 from Microsoft as well as the Amber firmware update from Nokia, but there appears to be more pieces to the jigsaw puzzle. An update for Extras + Info has been fired out into the wild that enables Lumia Windows Phone owners who are rocking GDR2 to start blocking numbers and unwanted contact. Yep, this is huge, folks.

The new settings area added, after you've got the latest version of Extras + Info is "Call + SMS Filter," which essentially does exactly what the name suggests. It's a feature we've been praying for since Nokia jumped onto the Windows Phone wagon. With this new blocking functionality, you'll be able to add numbers to your blacklist for incoming calls and SMS to be quarantined.

Microsoft created new APIs with Windows Phone 8 build 10327, which makes it possible for Nokia (and other OEMs) to implement this. We've received reports that this may well be carrier locked, but if you're certain you've updated enough and should be able to use the feature, head into Extras + Info and then back out again to the main settings list to see if the item has been added to the menu (the entry also details whether or not this feature is enabled).

Heading into the call + SMS filter settings area will present you with a few options - fear not, there's nothing major here. All you need to worry about is enabling (or turning off) the filters and managing blocked numbers. The counters below will show how many have been caught. If you head into "Advanced" you can fine tune the filters with settings to block withheld numbers, turn on the Live Tile (see below) and receive toast notifications.

As noted above, Nokia has also made it possible for you to pin a Live Tile to the Start screen, showing how many calls and SMS have been blocked. Pretty neat, we must say.

Call SMS Live Tile

Be sure to check for an Extras + Info update for your Lumia Windows Phone using this link or QR code below. Thanks, Tung Ha, for the heads up!

QR: Extras + Info

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

251 Comments
  • Yep just got this... Nice! Oh and I'm using a Lumia 925 on o2 in the UK all works exactly as explained above.
  • Nokia making the world a better place , yeah Samsung ,HTC,LG, copy , yeah we do we learning from Nokia lol lol good.
  • The ATIV S had call blocking when it was released so who's copying who?
  • does it matter? as long as we get these features it's all good.
  • The guy above him claimed that it was Samsung and HTC that needed to copy Nokia.  So his response does matter since that notion is pretty prevalent here.  Heck, I didn't know Samsung had already done this.  Makes me wonder what exactly Dan is talking about that Nokia had to wait for MS to expose new API's.
  • I don't know how the Samsung way of doing call blocking works but maybe this works a whole lot better. Maybe Samsung will introduce a better way of doing it now.
  • Ms in gdr2 made new APIs to allow this there was no way before for developers to get to that code perhaps all Samsung was doing was silencing the notification of blocked stuff
  • Nokia had provided this feature to some carrier branded lumias, like the ones for China Unicom and China Mobile.
  • Nokia isn't worried about Samsung blocking numbers. Nokia is worried about what we want.
  • U said it all.
  • Good point and doing exactly what users need. They alone are carrying WP8 and are doing a brilliant job of it.
  • Nokia can put any OS on their back and make it shine , if I ever ever ever ever were to try an android phone again will be cuz Nokia made it ,u can put that on paper .
  •  
    While true the Nokia implementation is quite a bit more extensive.
     
  • So ATIV S had GDR2 at the get go? Somehow I doubt...
  • Also the chinese variant of the Lumia 920 has it too.
  • Had something similar on my samsung focus.  The calls would not ring but would show as a missed call. I am assuming this is different  in that they don't show as a missed call.
  • You got GDR2 + Amber in the UK on O2?
    That's me and I've had no update alerts!
  • Lumia 925 GDR2 and Amber out the box. But got the latest firmware in an update yesterday and the app updates today... Sweet
  • Sweet!! Now i just need a Lumia phone -_-
  • Yep, as much as I like the 8x hardware-wise, I would be with the 920, had it been available on o2 from the beginning!
  • At least you have a WP8 ... Im stuck with an iphone 5 just because my carrier here in Puerto Rico doesnt carry any WP8
  • Get a 520 off contract.
  • CDMA .... So im out of luck
  • Lumia 822
  • my carrier sucks. End of story lol
  • Sell the iPhone get a wp8 unlocked on eBay ;)
  • Why don't you buy your phone on the internet? I did that here in Perú, my carrier here sucks too :P
     
  • Just a pitty that almost no one with a Nokia has GDR2 yet...
     
    Anyway, I updated. Nothing happens but I assume that once I get GDR2 (in September probably...) it will then be already available without the need to update again.
  • +920
  • I have the 925 that I know it already had GDR2 but I got another update yesterday that updated the firmware to the latest release. I was wondering if this was the bluetooth 4 update. I've also recieved the call and sms block. O2 here in the UK are pushing these updates out as soon as they are released (i mean firmware) very impressive. 
  • Well, good to know at least some carriers are doing a good job with these updates!
    My L920 is branded to Deutsche Telekom and they always take their time releasing the updates.
  • yeah o2 has always been good with updates. I'm guessing they'll be even better now they've signed an agreement with Microsoft and Nokia to really push the WP8 platform. Good times ahead I reckon.
  • I have a 1020 and I guess many others do as well. So your "almost no one" comment is inaccurate.
  • He probably means those who don't have a lumia with GDR2 pre-installed, which are the majority.
  • He said 'almost' no one, not absolutely no one. The majority doesn't have the gdr2
  • You guess wrong.
    Considering the numbers show that the vast majority of WP users have either a L520, L620 or L920, my comment IS accurate. Almost no one has it.
    "Almost" means that some will have it. The very small minority who does are the owners of L925 and L1020 (being that in that pool, the number of people with the L925 is much larger than with L1020's.)
  • Hi Lumia 925 has GDR2 pre installed, I've had my UK Vodafone 925 for a month, brill better than my heavy 920.
    One way of getting quick responses and updates is to write directly to Nokia or their forums and complain.
    Much faster and responsive than MS,
     
    I think the 925 is about the right size.  Loved my L800 hated the 920 but 925 is good........and finally we're getting functions that should have been done 2 years ago.
     
  • The L925 is basically the L920 with an aluminum case. How could you have hated one and loved the other, lol?
  • I truly hope this works with at&t in US. Tho somehow I doubt it. But damn Nokia you are the shit. Now officially can't wait for gdr2
  • It works on my AT&T 1020
  • How did you get it? My 1020 is not showing this option. I got an update for Display+touch, but that's it.
  • Restart your device.
  • Go into settings and you will see at the very bottom a new option for it. "Call+SMS Filter"
  • Thanks, guys. I see it. I had to manually run the update using the links posted here. 
  • Download it from the QR code in the story. I just did that on my AT&T 1020. It works great. Remember, as the article says, you have to open Extras+Info and then back out and the SMS and call block option will be there!
  • Glad to hear its on the ATT 1020, if this one was another thing ATT blocked like Data Sense, I would get away as fast as I could from those bastards even if I had to pay an early contract termination fee.
     
  • Working on my L1020 AT&T :)
  • Awesome!  More good stuff I cannot use until I get the GDR2 update for my 928!!
  • Lol, I feel your pain. 920 on AT&T, so I'm not holding out any hope of getting this update before next month.
  • They better get it soon or me and AT&T are going to have words...
  • Don't hold your breath too long...VZW kind of sucks with updates. Anyway, as much of a nice feature as the blocking is, it's seems like it's something up AT&T/VZW's alley to kill off. They'll probably decide on creating a new service that they can charge for rather than let you have it for free as part of the OS - yay American carriers!
  • I currently use this feature on Verizon, but am limited to the number of blocked numbers.  If I want to pay, I can block more.  Will be nice to just simply block it from the phone and not worry about the service from Verizon
    Someday (far distant future, I'm sure) carriers will simply provide the connection and all phones and OSs will provide the services needed, thus dropping the price.  Funny thought for sure!
  • Why isn't this built into Windows Phone? It should be available for all phones, rather than a Nokia add-on.
     
    (yes I am a slightly annoyed HTC 8X user)
  • Technically, it is. It's part of GDR2--Microsoft enabled this feature via an API extension in OS build 10327 and later. But it's up to OEMs to configure it to their liking. 
  • I get what you're saying and it's good that Microsoft have made the API available but it still feels like this is something that should be implemented and built into the core OS of the phone rather than relying on OEMs.
  • looks like MS realized that Nokia is working faster than they do, so they just implemented the API and moved on. If MS made this all by themselves, we probably would have had to wait until 2015 for this to arrive. 
    Good for Nokia users, bad for everyone else and the platform in general.
  • +1
     
  • Completely agree it should be an OS feature not OEM dependant.
  • Well, next time you know better what you should buy. Everyone knows that Nokia is a lot more determined with WP. They are working hard with a good user experience and happy customers. HTC on the other hand is just another Asian copycat OEM with "gimme your money and bye bye" attitude.
  • As an early adopter I think it's unfair to say that. HTC appeared behind the 8X when I bought it last November.
    I'm not denying that Nokia haven't been behind WP and are constantly developing it. My original comment was that this should have been built into the core WP operating system rather than Microsoft relying on OEMs to develop features on the phone. Rather than creating a universal phone OS such as the iPhone it creates an 'Android-like' fragmentation.
     
    Incidentally, the main reason I got the HTC 8X was for it's look and feel. I prefered it over the Nokia 920 which felt too cumbersome in my hand. And that in the UK the 920 was only available on EE for the first 3 months with the cost of the phone and plan quite extortionate.
  • Now it is built in and its up to the OEM to enable it. So give HTC a shout if you want this functionality. :)
  • The article says that Microsoft created the API for Nokia and other OEMs to implement this option. Fingers crossed all OEMs add it, and it won't be carrier dependent, as I can just see EE (UK) not allowing this feature!
  • Nothing in a phone OS should be 'carrier dependant' PERIOD.
  • This.
     
    A gazillion times this.
  • Absolutely 100% agree - carriers should not alter or take out anything that is created by Microsoft and/or the OEM.
  • T-Mobile 925 nothing yet, I'm crossing my fingers but I have a feeling this feature will be blocked by T-Mobile
  • It's not an over the air update.  T-mobile has nothing to do with it.  All you have to do is scan the QR code above and update your 'Extras + Info' app.
    I've got a 925 on Tmobile US and I just updated mine.  It works great!
  • I stand corrected, I have downloaded the update and already blocked a few telemarketers!!! Wohoooo thank you Nokia for all your hard work!!!!!
  • I am using TMobile 925 and got the update...
  • It's working on my 925
  • I got it already Lumia 925 mobile.
  • I have it on my Lumia 925 T-Mobile and it works like a charm
  • Also using this New feature on my L925 (Portugal). Works greatttt
  • I cannot stop loving Nokia! They know what to use engineers for.
  • Looking fwd to this update.
    Btw, does anybody still use SMS.
  • SMS is text messaging, right? Everybody uses that.
  • My understanding of SMS is texting from the phones default service (carriers) and not the likes of WhatsApp etc. But im probably wrong? I asked because blocking SMS probably won't block certain whatsapp contacts. They are different.
  • Everyone uses SMS. You can block whatsapp contacts from the whatsapp app.
  • Most people.
  • yep massive still here in the UK although the likes of Whatsapp must be stealing some it's thunder.
  • Of course, that's like asking "does anyone still make phone calls?"
  • Do they?
  • Uh....its not if you understand my simple question. Or read my other replies. I'm not talking about "texting" generally (rolls eyes)
  • I'm not either. I'm talking about SMS, and my reply would be "Of course, everyone uses SMS". You said SMS, not "texting" so I'm not referring to WhatsApp, Skype etc. Every single person I know uses SMS regularly. Only a small percentage (maybe 5-10%) would bother with WhatsApp etc. SMS works on all phones, WhatsApp requires a smartphone and is beyond the skills / interest of people like my parents. I send / receive SMS messages with them all the time. It is such a fundamental feature, like making a phone call.
  • Using SMS a lot, have 40000 incl. each month...
  • Wow is it really that different in other countries that ppl ask if texting is still used?!?!?
  • Not sure if this is a joke? My question was about SMS, which I believe is a default texting service from the phone (carrier). Whatsapp is texting too duh but im asking does anyone still use SMS. Because most of the ppl I know use a specific "3rd party app" to text because there are more features. Not the default. I hope im clear enough? Its not that hard to understand really.
    Unless my understanding of "SMS" is wrong. There's MMS service from carriers too so the definition of SMS is very obvious.
    Just out of curiosity. Seriously.
  • No you're understanding of SMS is correct. Its just that in USA, texting is synonymous with SMS. If people wanna know if you use kik or whatsapp or messenger, they specifically say do you kik/whatsapp or use man messenger. So it was strange to see you ask if anybody still used basic texting. To you texting encompasses all forms of sending a message. To me texting strictly means via sms
  • Here in Costa Rica SMS is practically dead, I think... Almost everyone uses Whatsapp
  • Lots.
    Maybe not for actual texting between people where all the other IM services provides better experience but SMS is very useful for two-step authentication for example.
  • Nice! If only this had been around sooner, I probably won't be needing it for awhile now. Hopefully it'll actually work unlike the one Samsung introduced for their WP7 devices.
  • It will definitely work now as Microsoft introduced an Official API  with Windows Phone 8 build 10327 whereas Samsung just used a hackjob.
  • Awesome!
  • This is all pretty neat but MS and Nokia at some point need to think about how to clean up and manage the settings menu. It evolves to an endless list of white text, which makes it more and more difficult to find what you are looking for quickly. The fact that there is no fixed order and every setting that gets updated falls back to the bottom of the list doesn't help.
  • Yup, agreed. Though I know the are experimenting with such a feature in 8.1 that is akin to how W8.1 handles apps. Not sure about Settings though if goes down to there.
  • Let's hope for the best. :)
  • You can block numbers through Verizon up to 90 days. I think you can only block 5 numbers for free.
  • They charge you for that?  You almost have to admire Verizon's tennacity for extracting more and more money from their customers.  Not necessarily saying the other carriers are better, since i don't know their block calls policy.  Verizon just seems to me to be at the top of the hill when it comes to charging their customers.
  • Add atnt to that as well, I've seen extra service to add to block phone numbers
  • Initially I thought, it would be nice to use an US carrier since you get phones at a subsidized rate. But seeing all your comments, it seems like it would be a bad idea. How painful it is to know that a certain service which you love and supported by your handset is deactivated by the carrier.
    It's like you have to choose your carrier wisely as you do your handsets.
  • I will just have to wait its a nearing realease anyway gdr2 updates in lumias are more feature-packed than in any other wp8 device just be patient i think the reason for this (in my opinion) is to sell more the L925 and L1020 (which has gdr2 update out of the box )
  • waiting Amber update.. Nokia Lumia 920 At&t US Unlocked..... :/
  • Haha. This is why I wont get another Windows Phone. Same BS like WP7.
  • You will get another Windows Phone. I can see it already.
  • I don't understand your comment. It was not the fault of WP or Nokia. It was the carrier's fault. Ideally, your comment should read, "This is why I won't use the service of ________ again".
  • wicked feature!!!
  • #switch to Lumia then. Hahaha! xD
  • Guys, I just updated my L520 with above link... and after that i got 2 updates in my store one is nokia care and other is display+touch... is that GDR2 update... updating.. excited !!!
     
    Update: No its not... it was just a misc update.. nothing happened as expected... still need to wait... :(
  • No that is an update to those apps. You will get GDR2 though an over the air update not through the store.
  • Thanks... its very disappointing... :( looking up in the sky to get GDR2... :p
  • where in the world are you? O2 here in the UK are very good at pushing these updates and very quick.
  • India... heard a news that its gonna release next week...
  • Every week, they are telling like this only.. How many weeks we have to wait for the next week..?
     
  • My girlfriend would love this feature! She has a stalker.
  • I just want to talk.
  • You made me laugh. Thank you.
  • LOL
  • Sad to say, I'm convinced most girls have stalkers these days. Price of the information age :/
  • Sure...your girlfriend....your the stalker, aren't you!  :P
  • Lol yeah you're right. Haha
  • A conceal/carry permit would be another feature she could use.  :)
  • Does anyone know when Lumia822 will get this update?
  • GDR2?
    No, no one hear knows. Only Verizon knows for sure, so try to get an inside source.
  • Just want to understand... If in case I buy an unlocked phone from Walmart or ebay and use a prepaid service, do I still need to wait for the carrier to send me the GDR2 or will the OEM send me the update?
  • Got this update about 30 minutes ago. Too bad gdr2/amber are taking 10 years to release for my 521. Would be nice to use this to block harassing bill collectors. How does it work? Does it answer and hang up?
  • 10 years, wow talk about an early adopter.
    Just pay your bills
  • Student loans get pushed aside for everything else. If my job paid accordingly to what it demands, then it wouldn't be an issue. 10 years is a joke. Tmobile takes too long to "test" and push out these updates, especially since there are only 3-4 WP8 devices on their network.
  • cool addition but microsoft really needs to get that settings list in some sort of a more usable order. also it'd be great if these oem customizations could be added as pivots to existing settings menus..
  • Sweet! Come on AT&T where's gdr2+amber?????
  • In the kitchen, by the keys.
  • Yes!
  • GDR2 for Lumia 928 when? This is the last month of Summer!
  • FINALLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYY been needing to block numbers for ages. Always wondered y WP didnt make this available when even my old symbian couldve