A Sign of the Times? A Spam Filter for Phone Calls

Google Logo I’m a pretty dedicated Google user. I switched to Google as my main search engine not long after they first launched (from Lycos, which I’d used since it launched (and the mascot was a Wolf Spider, family Lycosidae, hence the name of the site!)). Last year I switched to Chrome from Firefox (I’d been a Netscape/Mozilla user from Navigator 0.9 on). I use Picasa for photos, YouTube for videos, and Docs for, well, my documents. My domains are hosted on Google Apps, so I can handle all of my email through Gmail. I use Feedburner and Analytics for this site (and AdSense if I can get the account fixed), and I read my RSS feeds in Google Reader. I use an Android phone, which is loaded with Google apps (Maps is my GPS). Google Talk is my preferred IM. So, yeah, I like what they have to offer. :-)

(I’d be using +1 and Google+ if only they’d get around to giving Google Apps accounts Google Profiles – which are required to use those features. C’mon, Google!)

Of course, I also use Google Voice, and that’s the number I give out to everyone these days. I really love it, especially the ability to send & receive SMS messages and manage my voice mail right from my Chrome browser with the Google Voice extension. And, of course, it effectively gives me unlimited SMS on my phone since it uses the data connection, not the SMS plan. It has a nice feature set.

But the reason for the post is a new addition they just made. There is now a Spam Filter in Google Voice! I have mixed feelings on that. On the one hand, I think it is a nifty feature and I enabled it right away. On the other, the very fact that we may need a spam filter for our phones is kind of depressing, isn’t it?

If you go into Google Voice and then the Calls tab, down at the bottom you’ll see:

Global Spam Filtering Send calls and text messages from numbers identified as spam by Google directly to the Spam folder

As help explains:

These calls, text messages, and voicemails will not be forwarded to your phones, and will automatically be placed in your spam folder.

Basically it works just like you’d expect, just like the spam filters in Gmail do. I thought that was pretty neat, neat enough to share.

It also got me thinking. I wonder if they’ll someday offer filtering like they do in Gmail, being able to sort different numbers/contacts into different folders/tags. Sending some numbers right to voicemail. I do some advanced stuff with Gmail filters. (That might be another post at some point.) I know about Groups, but the options are limited. Voice is just another form of data after all. It’ll be interesting to see what is yet to come.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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