Youngstown men develop anti-robocall app - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown men develop anti-robocall app

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

It's a problem that seems to have no solution - those annoying robocalls that continuously come through your cell phone.

But two Valley natives are out to change that.

"One sheet of paper with an idea and it took off from there," says Donnie Willis of Youngstown.

It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention.

For Willis, that necessity kept calling and calling.

"Telemarketers got smarter, they started using local numbers in your area to make you pick these calls up," says Willis.

So he decided to do something about it - in a roundabout way.

"It started with my kids," recalled Willis. "I gave them the idea to come up with an app, and they didn't want to," he said, laughing.

Those incessant robocalls led Willis to develop The Silencer app.

"If I'm not in your call list, my number won't get shot through basically," says Willis. "On other apps, they get a prefix of numbers to block, or they only block that specific number."

'Silencer' is just for Android users right now, but Willis promises it'll be available for iPhone users soon.

Willis had some help in his venture. Another Youngstown native, Jay White, who founded digital solutions company RunningH20, gave him the platform to bring his vision to reality.

"He just got tired of the spam calls and wanted to create something that would help others and also embark on some entrepreneurship through technology," White said via Skype.

That technology lets you turn the app on and off if you're expecting an important call, and more functionality is planned in future upgrades.

For now, though, Donnie Willis is leaning on word of mouth to prove how his invention satisfies the necessity.

"My app will block it, theirs won't," he said.

When you get a robocall or spam call, your phone won't ring, it'll go right to voicemail.

You can check your call log to see who it's from, and if you want, you can add that number to the accepted list.

To find out more about The Silencer, contact Willis on Facebook or on Instagram @dwill1010.

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