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IBM Verse for iOS App will support Apple CallKit in upcoming release

Detlev Poettgen  Januar 8 2018 02:57:21 PM
IBM just published additional FAQ entries at the Knowledge Center, which are explaining a new feature of the upcoming IBM Verse for iOS app version 9.4.7.

IBM will integrate the Apple CallKit Extension!

CallKit can solve an old issue many of my customers are worried about:

If a call comes in, your users would like to see the name of the caller and not only the phone number.  By default Apple searches the Apple own Contacts app for a matching caller name. If an entry matching the phone number is found, the Apple Phone app will display the name from the contact entry. So if you want to see the name of a caller, you will have to store the name and phone number in the Apple Contact app.  But in this case third party apps like WhatsUp will have access to this data.

Since iOS 9 Apple provides an extension called CallKit, which can solve this issue.

When receiving a phone call, iOS first checks Apple Contacts for a contact with the incoming phone number. If a match is not found, iOS then consults the so called Call Directory database, which can be populated by third party apps that have implemented the Call Directory App Extension.

Sync with Apple Contacts creates an IBM Verse group in Apple Contacts and creates an Apple Contact in that group for each of the user’s IBM Verse People. IBM Verse populates as much data as possible for the person into the corresponding Apple Contact (User added photo, company, department, email addresses, phone numbers, etc.). Once this information is in Apple Contacts, any iOS app (developed by Apple or by third party developers) with access to the user’s Apple Contacts will be able to read and write over the Apple Contacts. This behavior allows iOS apps to automatically associate a piece of data such as a phone number or email address with a Contact. For example, the Messages app can associate a phone number that sent the user an SMS message with an Apple Contact and therefore show their picture next to the message in Messages. Disabling Sync with Apple Contacts will delete the Apple Contacts associated with IBM Verse People, and will therefore sever the connection from other apps to those Apple Contacts.

Sync with Apple Contacts involves directly syncing data with the Contacts application, while the Call Directory Extension is a separate data container. For the Call Directory Extension, iOS specifically requires a list of key-value pairs, where the keys are distinct phone numbers (no duplicates) and the values are the caller names for each phone numbers. For each phone number in a user’s IBM Verse People, the phone number and corresponding name are sent to the IBM Verse Call Directory Extension. A key difference between Sync with Apple Contacts and the Call Directory Extension is that these pairs of phone numbers and names are only visible to iOS; they are not visible to third party apps.

Check out the following IBM FAQ notes:

- How can I integrate my IBM Verse People with iOS Call Identification (Caller ID)?

- How do I enable or disable the IBM Verse Call Directory Extension?

- What's the difference between IBM Verse Sync with Apple Contacts and the IBM Verse Call Directory Extension?

- What format do I use for IBM Verse People's phone numbers to integrate with Caller ID using the Call Directory Extension?

IBM Verse for iOS v9.4.7 should be available in the next few days.

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