How to Automatically Dial Extensions on Android

1
Dial Extensions Automatically

photo © Russell Ware

If you call a lot of different business contacts during your working day, you will probably understand the frustration of having to try to remember dozens of ​​extension numbers. For me, this used to involve a hurried search for a list of extension numbers jotted down on a piece of paper or, if out of the office, several minutes wasted listening to an automated message. But that was before I discovered this clever Android feature.

Follow the steps shown here and you will learn how to add extension numbers to a contacts' phone number and automatically dial it when making a call. Yes, that's right, you too can wave goodbye to your scribbled extension list.

Note: There are two slightly different methods of adding extension numbers to your contacts. Which method you choose to use depends on whether you can enter the extension as soon as the call is answered, or if you have to wait for an automated message to finish. It is highly likely that you will need to use both methods at some point, but it is important to know which method to use for each contact.

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Using the Pause Method

Photo © Russell Ware

This method of adding extension numbers to a contact's phone number should be used in cases where the extension number can normally be entered as soon as the call has been answered.

1. Open the contacts app on your Android phone and find the contact whose number you wish to add an extension to. You can also usually open the contacts list via the phone dialer.

2. To edit a contact, either touch and hold on their name until a menu pops up or open their contact information page and then select Edit Contact.

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Inserting the Pause Symbol

Photo © Russell Ware

3. Touch the screen in the phone number field, making sure that the cursor is at the end of the phone number. The on-screen keyboard will appear.

4. Using the Android keyboard, insert a single comma immediately to the right of the phone number (on some keyboards, including the Galaxy S3 shown here, you will see a “Pause” button instead).

5. After the comma or pause, without leaving a space, type the extension number for the contact. For example, if the number is 01234555999 and the extension number is 255, the complete number should look like 01234555999,255.

6. You can now save the contact information. The next time you call that contact their extension number will automatically be dialed as soon as the call is answered.

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Troubleshooting the Pause Method

Photo © Russell Ware

When using the Pause Method, you may find that the extension is dialed too quickly, meaning the automated phone system you are calling does not detect it. Normally, when automated phone systems are used, the call is answered almost immediately. In some cases, however, the phone may ring once or twice before the automated system picks up.

If this is the case, try inserting more than one comma between the phone number and the extension number. Each comma should add a two second pause before the extension number is dialed.

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Using the Wait Method

Photo © Russell Ware

This method of adding an extension number to a contact's phone number should be used in cases where the extension number cannot normally be entered until you have listened to an automated message.

1. As with the previous method, open the contacts app on your Android phone and find the contact whose number you wish to add an extension to. You can also usually open the contacts list via the phone dialer.

2. To edit a contact, either touch and hold on their name until a menu pops up or open their contact information page, and then select Edit Contact.

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Inserting the Wait Symbol

Photo © Russell Ware

3. Touch the screen in the phone number field, making sure that the cursor is at the right-hand end of the phone number. The on-screen keyboard will appear.

4. Using the Android keyboard, insert a single semicolon immediately to the right of the phone number. Some keyboards, including the one on the Galaxy S3, will have a "wait" button that you can use instead.

5. After the semicolon, without leaving a space, type the extension number for the contact. For example, if the number is 01234333666 and the extension number is 288, the complete number should look like 01234333666;288.

6. When using the Wait method, a notice will appear on the screen when the automated message has finished. This will ask if you want to dial the extension number, giving you the choice to proceed or cancel the call.

Not Using Android?

These methods can be used to add extension numbers to contacts on almost any type of cell phone, including the iPhone and most Windows Phone 8 devices. The exact steps will vary, but the basic information is applicable.