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February 18, 2014

Deep dive into the dialer

Your phone has many functions. You can send a text message, browse the Internet, take photos, even play games. Let’s not forget one other key feature; it makes phone calls, too.


In days gone by, you’d tap the numbers on a dialer to call your friends, family or colleagues. Now, you probably search for their contact details within your People hub and press ‘call’.

However, there is a wealth of features within the dialer app itself. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.


On your Nokia Lumia smartphone the dialer Tile can be found on your Start screen and shows a phone icon. With one tap, you’re into your call history comprising of incoming, outgoing and missed calls.

If you’re a regular phone-caller this list is likely to be extensive. Finding a particular call event couldn’t be simpler, just tap on the search icon and begin typing a name.

As you start typing, the caller list is automatically adjusted to reflect your search term and you’re left with is a much shorter list.

Situated beside each of those call events is a phone icon; with just one tap you’re making a repeat call, or returning an incoming or missed call.

Remember when you had to press and hold on the ‘1’ key to dial your voicemail? That’s still an option, but it’s now much easier to dial voicemail thanks to the dedicated voicemail icon located at the bottom of the screen.


Let’s talk some more about the dialer – the keypad – itself. Again, you can find this icon at the bottom of the screen.

It’s what you’d expect, a series of numbered tiles ranging from one through to zero, with the addition of a star and hash button.

There’s also a plus (+) symbol to be found on the zero key – tap and hold activate this.

While you can add new contacts through the People hub, you can also do it through the dialer.

Type out the phone number and hit save, followed by either selecting an existing contact or by adding a new one.

If at any point you decide you want to dial a contact from within your People hub, the people icon provides quick and easy access without you needing to exit the dialer.

Text replies

While it’s now possible for everybody to be contactable 24/7 through via mobile phone, there will still be times we can’t pick up.

Rather than letting the phone ring off, give people the heads-up by setting up some text replies, which can be found by pressing … > settings > edit replies.

Here, you can write out the four most likely responses you’ll use when not answering a call.

With this activated, when a call comes in that you can’t answer your screen will ask you if you want to send a text reply.


Nuisance calls?

Got PPI? Won that lottery you never participated in? No, no one does or actually has – well, mostly.

Those annoying calls we all get from time to time can be blocked right from your Nokia Lumia smartphone and the blocked calls option.

If the number appears in your call list, tap and hold and then select block number. It’s as simple as that.

Incidentally, you can also block text messages by repeating the same process in your SMS section – but that’s for another deep dive story.

There we have it, pretty much everything you can do from the dialer. A simple tool we all take for granted, but is full of uses – what’s your favourite dialer feature?

Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.