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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Post Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    I just realized the lack of this feature (or incompatibility) when I tried to call someone and kept getting "your call cannot be completed" message from Verizon.

    If Google is trying to target business users they need to get their act straight. The problem is not putting semi column or comma or upside down questionmark to dial extensions, but the issue is the compatibility.

    Outlook and most contact management/e-mail systems use X as a divider between main number and extension.
    It also makes sense "x" "eXtension". Anyway, I was able to sync all my contact beautifully, only to find out that I cannot call my clients, friends or the companies where I have to dial extensions. I don't remember all their extensions, and I cannot change hundreds of them one by one.

    If anyone figured out a way to fix this, or a way to replace the default "x" for extension in Outlook 2010, please share. Otherwise Android is useless for those calls.
    Last edited by hyde49314; 02-22-2012 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Revision of Title to clarify the topic
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Here is an article from 2010 that tells you what to do. In summary, you will need to edit your contacts by adding commas so as to give time for your phone to then dial the proper extension.

    Doc
    EVO 4G
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Thank you Doc, but that does not help me. Like I said my contacts with extensions originate from my Outlook and Corporate Exchange server. Is there anyway to modify the phone app (or possibly find a replacement caller app) that will treat every X as ; and prompt for further dialing (wait for user response).

    After all these years, you would think they would at least add an option in Android 4 in order to choose which character should be treated as extension number. Why ; or , and not x. This is really strange.
  4. #4  
    Rukbat's Avatar

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    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    You assume that Ourlook is the way to do it, and Android or Google is "out of sync" - but it's the other way around. The industry standard for "wait 2 seconds before dialing the rest of this number" is a comma. It's Microsoft (as always) that chose to be out of step with everyone else. Blame them, not Google.
  5. #5  
    PvilleComp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Have you tried this app? I know nothing about it except the market description, but it might be worth a try.

    Last edited by PvilleComp; 02-21-2012 at 10:31 PM. Reason: typo
    Some say that his dormant chips were left that way for YOUR SAFETY... Others say that once "turned on," he can not be turned off... All we know is... He's called The Stig.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukbat View Post
    You assume that Ourlook is the way to do it, and Android or Google is "out of sync" - but it's the other way around. The industry standard for "wait 2 seconds before dialing the rest of this number" is a comma. It's Microsoft (as always) that chose to be out of step with everyone else. Blame them, not Google.
    Uhm....no. It's not Outlook or MS at all, so don't go jumping on the "MS doesn't know what it's doing and is out of sync with the industry" blind-hate bandwagon for no reason. Google lets you set up a phone number with an "x" before an extension just perfectly fine...just like Outlook and MS does. Oh, and guess what? So does iOS.

    I don't know where his contacts are coming from (whether Exchange is grabbing contacts from an outside datasource or whether he's just setting them up himself), but they just need to be set up correctly so they show in Outlook as "555-555-5555,1234

    That's pretty typical. I usually set mine up for 3 commas just to account for a longer pause before dialing the extension. It works perfectly fine.

    Now, that does beg the question why do all the players (Microsoft, Google, Apple) let you set up a phone number such as 555-555-5555 x1234 if they know you can't dial it like that?

    Now maybe Blackberry is smart enough that it will recognize or transpose an extension with an "x" to a comma so it dials correctly. I don't really know since I've never used a Blackberry. But Android and iOS require a comma for the extension. Would it be nice if the OS recognized an "x" and transposed it to a comma for dialing? Heck yeah, since as the OP points out, an "x" is pretty standard on many CRM systems and on business cards and whatnot, which make it a pain when I use my phone's camera to snap a business card to add to my contacts (I have to manually change the "x" to a comma for the newly created contact)

    So for the OP, it might be a pain, but you need to switch your contacts to use a comma between the number and the extension, and then it will dial correctly.
    Last edited by EvilMonkey; 02-21-2012 at 09:31 PM.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Pville, I will certainly try that, thanks!
    EvilMonkey, thanks for pointing that out from the upstairs bedroom window. I miss you, did they get rid of you or did you finally become good or something? I missed that episode I think.

    Thanks for that very sensible response, community surely needs more people like you who act less of a "hater", and more like a "builder". I don't mind to start using , and ; (very cool to have this as well since it takes few seconds before the prompt to dial extension is spoken, and Android dials extensions SUPER fast, ever noticed?) but the problem is how do I replace the extensions in those hundreds of contacts. There is also another problem, if you use dialog box in Outlook, where you enter Phone Number, Area Code, Extension when creating a new contact, it does not let you choose the character that identifies extension. So when you fill those fields, it automatically uses x. I guess I will have to type the phone number manually in all fields.

    There is something rukbat would be happy to hear, I was just trying to check what other characters I could use on my blackberry, and I tried ; when I was trying to save a new contact with extension, it did not recognize it, it did not even allow me to type 555-1234;101 because ; is not a character universally recognized. I guess it is something google built into Android. However when I tried , (comma) guess what, Blackberry put a little black square with P in it. So it looks like if Outlook or Exchange used (comma) instead of (x) there would be no problems.

    And yes, blackberry is pretty much designed around Outlook, Exchange, Lotus and other corporate systems. It guesses and translates the input to something that makes sense. Is there anyway we can bring this up to Google and ask them to add x as a recognized pause character in order to dial extensions? And possibly add a user selectable option of "dial extensions after x second pause by default" or "wait for user prompt before dialing after pause".
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Can a moderator rename the title of this topic to: Dialing extensions & Pause character in Android contacts
    I think Pause Character or Pause Symbol is what we are really discussing, rather than just being able to dial extensions.
    I would greatly appreciate that.
  9. #9  
    PvilleComp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    hyde - You can change the title by editing the OP.
    Some say that his dormant chips were left that way for YOUR SAFETY... Others say that once "turned on," he can not be turned off... All we know is... He's called The Stig.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Quote Originally Posted by hyde49314 View Post
    EvilMonkey, thanks for pointing that out from the upstairs bedroom window. I miss you, did they get rid of you or did you finally become good or something? I missed that episode I think.
    LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by hyde49314 View Post
    but the problem is how do I replace the extensions in those hundreds of contacts. There is also another problem, if you use dialog box in Outlook, where you enter Phone Number, Area Code, Extension when creating a new contact, it does not let you choose the character that identifies extension. So when you fill those fields, it automatically uses x. I guess I will have to type the phone number manually in all fields.
    I am not sure what you mean by "dialog box in Outlook." What version of Outlook are you using? I'm using 2010 (with Exchange) but the phone numbers aren't separated out into Area Code or Extension...it's just one long block so you can type in whatever you want there. Even allows letters (I assume for those 1-800-SAFE-AUTO type numbers).

    I do not have a good solution for how to edit those contacts in bulk. Are they contacts stored locally (i.e. you entered them manually into Outlook), or are they being pushed there from another system? Perhaps this walkthrough on exporting the contacts will help (maybe you can export it, make the change quickly, and re-import it):

    Quote Originally Posted by hyde49314 View Post
    There is something rukbat would be happy to hear, I was just trying to check what other characters I could use on my blackberry, and I tried ; when I was trying to save a new contact with extension, it did not recognize it, it did not even allow me to type 555-1234;101 because ; is not a character universally recognized. I guess it is something google built into Android. However when I tried , (comma) guess what, Blackberry put a little black square with P in it. So it looks like if Outlook or Exchange used (comma) instead of (x) there would be no problems.
    I should have clarified. If you're editing your contact on your PHONE, Android won't let you put in an 'x' (or something like 1-800-SAFE-AUTO....but if you're editing your contacts in Gmail, it certainly does (and will sync the "x" back down to your phone). Just like Outlook does. I don't have an iPhone to check the behavior, but my iPad lets me also put an "x" in the contact's phone number. I assume the iPhone is the same.

    What should happen IMHO, is the OS's (all of them...iOS, Blackberry, Android, Windows, etc) should recognize the "x" since as you pointed out, it's pretty common across systems, and be smart enough to automatically transpose it to a comma for dialing.

    Maybe it doesn't do that since as I mentioned earlier you can use numbers like "1-800-I-AM-XTREME" would get screwed up when it switches the X to a comma.

    I do find it strange that Outlook and Gmail let you enter phone numbers like that, but when editing it on the phone, it won't. Maybe they are both still stuck in the 'old days' that you would be reading a phone number on the computer and manually dialing it on a physical phone, and not clicking on it to dial it like many of us have been for a few years (assuming you have some click-to-dial program like Lync or Skype or any integrated VOIP system).
    Last edited by EvilMonkey; 02-22-2012 at 09:15 AM.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: Calling extensions?

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilMonkey View Post

    I am not sure what you mean by "dialog box in Outlook." What version of Outlook are you using? I'm using 2010 (with Exchange) but the phone numbers aren't separated out into Area Code or Extension...it's just one long block so you can type in whatever you want there. Even allows letters (I assume for those 1-800-SAFE-AUTO type numbers)..
    This is what I meant, when you enter the numbers, it automatically adds X between number and extension. So this is out of user's control. We will just have to type the numbers by hand, that means no import of data from other users/etc..



    I do not have a good solution for how to edit those contacts in bulk. Are they contacts stored locally (i.e. you entered them manually into Outlook), or are they being pushed there from another system? Perhaps this walkthrough on exporting the contacts will help (maybe you can export it, make the change quickly, and re-import it):
    They are stored on corporate exchange server, with ability to edit %90 of them, with %10 being on Exchange Directory, unable to edit.. Sure I also thought about exporting them to csv and mass edit and import back, but that would mean I will lose a lot of data & formatting with CSV since it does not support rich text and I have a lot of notes in contacts.


    What should happen IMHO, is the OS's (all of them...iOS, Blackberry, Android, Windows, etc) should recognize the "x" since as you pointed out, it's pretty common across systems, and be smart enough to automatically transpose it to a comma for dialing.
    Exactly, that's what I was trying to get to. It should just recognize it, even though they have more features.

    Maybe it doesn't do that since as I mentioned earlier you can use numbers like "1-800-I-AM-XTREME" would get screwed up when it switches the X to a comma.
    Good point, in my blackberry I can actually dial by writing this to my dialing screen, and it won't confuse it.. I don't even see the option in Android. There is no keyboard, only dialpad.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    Hi:
    I think I am looking for the same thing hyde49314 is but let me put it this way:
    When I had a blackberry and anyone sent me an invite to a conference call I could click on the "+15038898499x730199#" and the call would be made to the base number, a pause would be made where the x is and the extension would subsequently be entered. Bam, 1 click dialing. Also "+15038898499,,,730199#" would do the same thing. Even "+15038898499ext.730199#" worked.
    My droid doesn't do this. In my E-mail, "+15038898499x730199#" appears to be a clickable link but actually it's two links. I can click on either the number or the extension. This leaves me entering a number, calling it, trying to switch back to the E-mail to memorize a 10 digit extension, and switch back to the call in progress and enter that extension perfectly the first time from memory after having just seen the number for the first time a few minutes ago, all in time before the call times out. Copy and pasting aren't working either, not that they'd be much faster. I've even literally copied the phone and pasted it in a temp doc, gone back, copied the extension, pasted it in a temp doc, then copied that into the phone for dialing. Tedious! Impractical! The bottom line is when you see "+15038898499x730199#" (or something like it) in an E-mail it should provide one click dialing. If not natively then there should be an app for that. Please help this 8year recovering blackberry user love his new Samsung S III.
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    See if there is any app that allows you to send numbers. In older windows phones (5 or even 6 had it) you could copy the number and then there was a command "send numbers" and when you used the command it would just dial it. (You would dial the phone number, and then "send" the extension) When I used Galaxy Nexus back in february, there was no such application available. I have been back to my Blackberry long time ago, so I have no idea what developments there have been, but seeing your message makes me think there were no updates, or useful apps developed.

    Honestly I was thinking OS6/iphone5 was going to fix everything and be the true business phone that could replace BB, but it is a disappointment so far. And on the android side, the only company trying to do something (3rd party apps, interfaces, etc..) is samsung. So since samsung did not do much else for business users, I would think you are going to be out of luck, and you will have to go back and forth dialing. You will probably have to write it down somewhere and then dial.. so much for the latest technology. Or if you get really frustrated, you can just wait for BB10 to see if it helps solve your problems. With the lack of proper e-mail client (that works with exchange server) and the problems with dialing and contact management, I could not stay with android much longer, but S3 is really a sweet device.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    I have pretty much the opposite problem. I've used text "extensions" in lots of my Outlook contacts to describe the type of phone number it is. Things like "Summer Home" or "Mary's Cell". Now Android wants to dial the numeric equivalent of these extensions. Is there any way to turn off extension dialing? Is there any special character that implies that everything that follows is a comment?

    Thanks,
    -barry
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    still no real answer to this problem? I can't believe it. I m using Calendar Dial which is the only app I ve found that solve a piece of the puzzle but when the conference call numbers are in the body of the invite it still is not smart enough to recognize them and dial the full number. This is incredible to me that BB could figure this out and Andriod can't! This is a small gold mine if someone will put up an app that will handle both situations.
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    I found an app to solve this - it works - it is called "Dial My Meetings" this one actually pulls the phone numbers from the body of the invite which Calendar Dialer doesn't do - so I ve tried this one now and it works well. Developer is very responsive as well.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    I am late to this thread, but for you MS Exchange power users, I highly recommend the paid app Touchdown to handle this extension issue, with a setting "Normalize Contacts". When it syncs your contacts from Exchange (and then to your phone), it will automatically replace in the "ext", or "x", or "X" in the phone with a ";" to pause dialing. This only adjusts this in the phone, not in Outlook.

    Also useful with this App...syncing notes, tasks, calendar, allowing modification of Out of Office message, searching on the Exchange server for emails, etc. Much better than the default Android mail app.
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    Does this app Touchdown work with Lotus Notes?
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    The next problem, multiple contacts at the same number with different extensions will will not display the correct contact name when dialing.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    Sorry, late to the game on this. But if this were me I'd export my contacts from Outlook into Excel and then do a find & replace in the row containing the x. Replace x with , or ,,,
    I was thinking a single comma is 1/2 second or 1 second pause... But I also know that some phones have their own way to handle pauses or waits. So consult your phone documentation for best results.

    After you have completed editing then I believe you could just import those back to where you need them.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    Ask your IT Admin to change the contacts on the exchange server directly. I just had to do that for my company.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Dialing extensions & Pause character symbol in android contacts

    You may also try the Conference Call Dialer, It should do the trick...

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