Hiya — Call Blocker, Fraud Detection & Caller ID

Hiya is a call blocking app for iPhone that can help you get rid of annoying spam. It has more than 200,000 reviews on the AppStore and a 4-star rating, which proves its popularity and reliability. In this article, I’m going to share my experience of using Hiya.

Photo by Bagus Hernawan on Unsplash

It’s worth noting that the iPhone doesn’t come with an automatic call blocking or identification feature. All iOS users can do is add an annoying phone number to a blacklist. But this doesn’t protect you from spammers and telemarketers who use multiple phone numbers to bombard their victims with annoying calls. If you add a company’s number to a blacklist, there’s no guarantee that they won’t call you again from another phone number. Other than that, iPhone will never identify who’s calling you if the number is not added to your Contacts. This is where spam blockers like Hiya come into play. Such apps allow learning who’s calling you before you pick up and block the whole categories of numbers to get rid of annoying phone calls. Now, on to Hiya and whether it’s a good fit for your call blocking needs.

Hiya Call Blocker

There are several things about Hiya that are appealing before you install it. First of all, the app is suitable for iPhone and Apple Watch, so it’s a real catch for Apple fans. The app icon is minimalistic and eye-catching, so Hiya won’t get lost among other apps on your screen. Besides, the app has plenty of user reviews, i. e. it’s been already used by thousands of people from all over the world. You probably know that Hiya was featured by well-known media, including the Wall Street Journal, the Verge, VentureBeat, and more.

Now, the promised features. According to the developers, Hiya will:

  • identify and block robocalls, telemarketer calls, and fraud calls.
  • block neighbour spoofed calls automatically;
  • show you who’s calling you before you pick up;
  • offer a reverse phone lookup so you’ll be able to lookup an unknown phone number in their database and learn more data about the caller;
  • let you add names from the Hiya database to your list of contacts.

The promised features are attractive, so let’s check if the app works as promised.

User Interface

So the interface of the application is quite simple. When you open the app, you’re offered to enable spam protection and call blocking features out of hand.

It’s convenient since you don’t have to search for the setup instruction on the Net or somewhere in the app.

On the same screen, you can see Hiya stats for the past week, including the number of analysed calls, detected spam, fraud calls, and spam reports. The stats are promising, I’d say.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find the icons of the main features: Lookup, Dial, Protect and an option to upgrade to Premium and the settings (the so-called “Options”). As you see, the interface is user-friendly and basic, so you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use this app.

How it works

Like most call blocking apps for iPhone, the app requires enabling some iPhone settings for full functioning. After upgrading to Premium, you have access to all features of the utility. First of all, I’d like to point out the automatic spam blocking feature. Soon after I installed Hiya, I noticed that I receive much fewer robocalls and spam calls. However, some annoying calls still went through. If you don’t want to block calls but need to know who’s calling you, the caller ID feature will suit you. This option identified multiple callers when I got incoming calls from unknown numbers.

It’s worth noting that Hiya identified not all callers. Actually, the performance of call blocking utilities mostly depends on the up-to-date database. You know that spammers always use different numbers to bombard their victims with spam. Thus, an up-to-date database is a must for a call blocking service. According to my experience, the Hiya database of spam numbers is relatively fresh since it identifies unknown callers. Unfortunately, not all spam numbers are added to their database, so some annoying calls won’t be identified or blocked. By the way, you should always keep your Hiya app up-to-date for accurate identification.

Other than call blocking and caller identification, the app offers a reverse number lookup so you can look for any unknown phone number locally in the app. Once you lookup a phone number and ensure that it’s not spam, you can dial this number and call it from the app. If you have questions about Hiya, you can go to the settings and contact their support team and read their FAQ.

The good

Firstly, the simplicity. The app is very convenient and will be suitable for non-tech savvies. In case you don’t know how to use the app, the developers have prepared a detailed FAQ for the users.

Secondly, the pricing. Hiya offers flexible subscriptions for your needs. If you want to look up unknown numbers, you can pay $2.99 for a Lookup Plan that allows checking 200 numbers. You can also choose Premium with automatic spam blocking, advanced caller identification, and powerful number lookups with the names behind phone numbers. It will cost you $25 annually or $4 monthly.

Last but least, the powerful features. The application works as promised and helps you get rid of most spam calls and robocalls. It also allows checking a phone number in their vast database of spam numbers. In case you don’t want to block all spam calls, you can enable the caller identification and learn who’s calling you before your pick up.

The bad

Though Hiya is an excellent app for call blocking on iPhone, there’s no denying that it has some drawbacks we should discuss.

First of all, old users notice that the developers have discontinued multiple free features and made them paid, meaning that the pricing may change at any time. This is a significant disadvantage since modern users prefer reliable apps with stable and permanent terms of use and unchangeable pricing. Nobody likes nasty surprises.

When you find the app on the AppStore, you understand that the developer ignores user reviews, even negative ones, and doesn’t reply to the customers’ support request. As a customer, I’d like to be sure that if I have an issue with the app, the developer will help me. When it comes to Hiya, you’ll hardly find their reply to an unsatisfied user.

It doesn’t give you 100% protection from spam. Some unwanted calls will anyway go through.

To sum up

No doubt that Hiya is a perfect app that takes the stress out of blocking spam calls and identifying unknown callers. The app has some helpful free features that may be enough for your call blocking needs. If you want to get the best of the app, you’ll have to purchase a subscription, which is, in my view, rather cheap. The app is simple and doesn’t require technical skills.

However, it’s worth noting that the app doesn’t protect you from all spam calls. What’s more, users never get a reply from the Hiya developers on the AppStore. The pricing is constantly changed and can grow at any moment.

It’s up to you whether to install Hiya or not. Despite some drawbacks, the app helped me get rid of the most annoying calls; that’s why I can say that it’s worth a try.

Professional copywriter. Interested in tech, coding, HR management.