Is Google Calendar’s Improved Spam Filter a Blow to the Competition?

Google Calendar: Better spam filter or an attack on the competition?

Google’s latest calendar updates have sparked allegations of deliberately trying to turn off third-party developers. CEO of Grain, Mike Adams, claims that appointments booked via external tools no longer appear automatically in the workspace suite, forcing users to switch to Google itself. However, Google has been blocking incoming appointments from untrusted senders to protect against spam and phishing attacks. The group now offers its calendar as a commercial part of the workspace suite, but the combination of active spam protection and monetization of the calendar tool has raised concerns among third-party providers like Grain.

Grain offers AI-supported meeting recordings and transcripts, which rely on the online scheduling software Calendly. Adams claims that the blocking of Calendly has caused chaos in his company and among users. Google, however, responds that it blocks unknown Gmail contacts, including third-party providers, by default. Users on social media complain about missed appointments, but details on the appointment booking tools used in the background are missing.

In 2019, Google faced a flood of spam in the calendar, prompting the group to work on the problem. The calendar has improved since then, but settings that have to be made manually are now necessary if users want to continue relying on automatically entered appointments. Calendly has set up a support page that explains the relevant steps to add known contacts and their appointments to the safe list with just a few clicks.

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