Google is great. They provide us with tons of free services and open source APIs that we can code fun tools for, one of which I don't think gets enough credit: Google Voice.
Haven't you ever wanted to be able to protect your privacy when handing out your phone number? Or maybe you need a quick temporary phone number for someone you just met, or an alternative number for signing up for services that might result in unwanted telemarketing calls. Whatever it is, Google voice will enhance your experience on a phone, whether you are using a land line or mobile phone.
Google Voice is basically an online phone forwarding program that enhances the capabilities of phones and allows for a whole bunch of cool tricks. Best of all? It's free. Just to get a taste of what we can do, have a look at a few of a notable features that it allows us to utilize:
- Call forwarding
- Voice mail
- SMS messaging
- Free local phone number
- Message saving and logging
Today in Null Byte, we are going to check out a few of the uses for Google Voice, namely, blocking calls and SMS messages to your cell or home phone for free.
- Google account
- A phone
We can use Google Voice to filter calls before they are sent to us. By linking a phone to our Voice account, we can hand out our Google voice number and have it forward the calls to our linked phone.
Not only does this allow you to control who has your actual number, but you can also change your phone number an indefinite amount of times on Voice, so you can make sure you are never reachable by parties whom you wouldn't like to reach you.
To block calls, let's first link our phone to our Google account.
- Go to Google Voice.
- Link your phone to your account when it prompts you.
- Add a number you would liked blocked to your contact list, or search your recent call / text list.
- Tick the checkbox next to the call, voicemail, or SMS message.
- Click more underneath the call box and select block.
Now you can make sure that number can't call your phone anymore, without even paying your phone service provider for the extra service. You can also filter your calls, because when you answer your phone when it's a call from your Voice account, you have the choice of answering.
Free caller ID and call screening too? You're doing too much for us, Google.
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