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May 22, 2013

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

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!