Inbound Call Filter
Thanks to some feed back from +Mike Lombardi over on the Tasker Google+ page I’ve updated my project a little.Instead of using a text file on the SD card to keep track of incoming calls I now use two arrays, one for the phone number and another to record the number of calls. I am still using the SD card to store the ‘canned’ response texts, I have thought about making this variable based as well but I’m not sure about the performance implications.The situations when a text will be sent are very small, first it realise on someone calling while the profile is active and second they have to be calling from a recognised mobile. My understanding of Tasker would require a global variable like this it exist in memory all the time, this may not seem like allot but it doesn’t feel necessary. Plus with the current set-up to increase the calls required will only need to add a new file and update the counter in Tasker so you could make people call 10 or 12 times. Having that many responses in memory would become cumbersome.
Inbound Call Filter
This is an idea, like most, that came to me at 2am during a restless night. Like most Tasker creations it started with a simple problem. When I put my phone to sleep it goes silent till 5am, so what do you do if someone needs to reach you? What put the idea in my head was a text from my flat mate saying he’d left his keys at home and needed me to leave the door unlocked. In his case it was luck I was up late and got the text.
My first approach was a simple white list but this has limitations because in affect you are only white listing a phone number and not the person. So they could have a dead battery or taking this situation to its worst case, like most 2am thoughts tend to end up, a hospital or EMS team are now trying to phone you these are not numbers you are going to add to any white list so the first you’ll know is 5am when you check and see missed calls.
So I wanted a new solution. It struck me to use the same approach as in some firewalls and creating a kind of grey list where people can gain access to the white list by performing an action. At first I thought text but again that relies on the caller being on a mobile, so I went with calling.
My new Tasker profile will allow anyone to activate the ringer by calling me three times. On the third call the phone starts to ring, at full volume. The extension to this idea is to allow the phone to continue ringing when the same person calls again. I also wanted to let people know what’s going on by text but seeing as there’s no point in texting a land line we only text mobiles, in the UK that means any number starting 07.
This profile triggers on incoming calls and checks a folder on the SD card for a text file with the same name as the incoming number, we’ll call this the call counter. If there is no file the call is ended and a new file is created and the number 1 is written to it. We then read a text file called call.1.txt and text the caller back. If they call again we continue the process.
During the second, which we know is the second call because of the text file we created before, we again end the call and text back the contents of call.2.txt and increment the call counter file.
Now like all good processes we reach the third call. At this point the call counter file has the value 2 in it so the phone rings, at full volume. The process is the same for the 4th call and so on until you delete the file and the cycle continues. Personally I delete them every morning, but it’s a personal choice thing.
Download the project file below and import it into Tasker then just activate the the profile when you want to limit your callers. Let me know if you find any problem or can think of any improvements I can include