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November 17, 2016

Update an Android Contact with a Phone Number Extension

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

This situation happens to me twice. The first time is when I create a contact: Where do I put the extension number? The Contacts app lists no place for an extension. And second, even if you could set an extension into a contact’s information, how do you dial it? The answer is that you can, but the solution isn’t obvious.

What! You were expecting something obvious? Silly.

The solution is to employ a seldom-known and rarely-used character in the Dialer app: That is, the ; (wait) character.

The Dialer app features two waiting characters:

The , (comma) inserts a two-second pause into a phone number. So when dialing 123,4567, the phone spews out tones for 123, waits two seconds, and then the tones for 4567 are sent.

The ; (semicolon) directs the phone to display a “continue?” prompt. So when dialing 123;4567, the phone dials 123, then it waits for you to tap the onscreen prompt before dialing 4567.

Can you see where this is going?

When you create a contact with an extension, specify the extension like this:

18005551234;123

The phone number is dialed first, 1 (800) 555-1234. Then the prompt appears on the touchscreen. At this point, you’re most likely in some type of message system. You hear something along the lines of, “If you know the party’s extension, dial it now.” Tap the screen. The extension, such as 123, is dialed.

This trick doesn’t work when a receptionist answers the phone. In that case, you still need to remember the extension or, hopefully, just utter the contact’s name and you’ll be connected.

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