Speed dial: 6 tips for quicker calling on Windows Phone 8

Speed dial: 6 tips for quicker calling on Windows Phone 8

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With everything else it can do, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Windows Phone is still, well, a phone. Looking for ways to call someone a little quicker? Here are a few tap-saving shortcuts I’ve discovered along the way.


1. Call back quickly. It never fails that when my wife and I need to sync up, I miss her call or she misses mine. To increase the odds of catching her, I tap Phone on my Start screen, and then tap the Phone icon next to her name in call history to ring back faster.


2. No answer? Try another number. Even if I call her back a few minutes later, I still might miss her. Instead of leaving voicemail, I’ll tap End call, tap her name at the top of the screen, and then tap one of her other numbers. (Tip: You’ll need to be quick because the name only appears for a couple of seconds.)

3. Go double wide. Another way I try to save a tap or two is to increase the size of my Phone Tile. Then if I miss a call or get a new voicemail, it shows up right there—no need to go to call history. Just tap and hold the Phone Tile on Start, and then tap the icon on the bottom right to resize the Tile.

Phone-LargeStartTile (2)

4. Turn a number into a name. Instead of hunting through call history and trying to remember which number goes with which person (I’ve guessed wrong more than once), I’ll save the number as a contact so I can quickly find and call them next time. Just tap Phone > History, tap the phone number, and then tap Save. I can tap New to make them a new contact, or add the number to a contact I already have. Check out this article on the Windows Phone website to learn more about saving contacts on your phone.

5. Can’t talk when someone calls? Text instead. If you have the latest update for Windows Phone 8 you might’ve already discovered this new feature, which I really love and use a lot. When a contact calls from their cell phone and you can’t talk, just tap Text reply, then tap a response and away it goes. I’ve customized my replies, too, so I can say what I want with two taps. This video shows the feature in action.

6. Who’s calling? Let Windows Phone tell you. I don’t always have my phone sitting next to me at home, so I have it announce the caller’s name out loud. That way, I know if I really need to run and pick up. To turn this feature on, go to Settings > Ease of access > Speech for phone accessibility. This setting turns on a few more things, too, including the ability to speed dial and forward calls with your voice. To learn more, see Use Speech on my phone.

I hope one or two of these were new to you. Have any tips or things you do to speed up calling? I’d love to hear ‘em!

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  • CiCi8
    0 Posts

    Nice roundup. You can also pin your contacts as favorites as well.

  • Would love to see address book caller id again since my provider charges extra for them to relay the full caller id signal

  • @Mantvydas  the people section of the phone dialer is pinned by default on every phone shipped. Sure i woulnt mind the 6.x address book as i still to often tap the phone tile instead & would perfer sim card storage over storing it in my .net passport or in the phones onboard storage

  • A tip I am surprised is missing...

    You can easily create a "favorites" section on your start screen by simply going to your favorite contacts and pinning them to start beneath your phone tile. Saves a lot of searching and typing time.

  • Mantvydas
    15 Posts

    Windows phone Phone App has to be redone.

    1) When invoking on a Phone app, let history be there, but please bring the number pad in the bottom part right away.

    2) Tapping numbers should search the People by name, by surname and by the numbers, and the results should appear above the number pad with every tap.

    It's very long to call someone with the current phone app -- in order to find a contact you need too many taps -- Phone, Address Book, Search and only then Search for People... No need for those taps, you have to search People right away.

  • litri01
    1 Posts

    I am in UK and cannot access the "Speech for phone accessibility" is this going to be added for UK

  • You could make it possible to call someone from the messages screen. Like it is on Android, if you select a message topic and slide to the right you call the number. It's simple !

  • I appreciate your effort in adding this article. I would expect more native functionality. Have you tried RapDialer(Free version) ? Its worth every penny. We would like to see something like that on OS only rather than depending on an app.

    BTW: RapDialer your app rocks.

    1. Add favs(like iphone) less clicks(I still dont know why it asks for confirmation).

    2. Type letters, phone number comes

    3. Type numbers, name comes

    4. Text option for contacts...

    Let windows give a try to make things better after all "Windows makes life and tasks simpler".

  • These tips are pretty obvious but ultimately useless. Why not point out that you can use speech to initiate a call as well?

    And let's cut to the chase... what would really make sense is a feature that existed waaaaaaaaaaay back in the Windows Mobile days with Smart Dialing (you know, typing the name/number and having it auto-filter your contacts). Let's make that happen, eh?