Challenge AcceptedHave you ever wanted to call someone who, say, works in an office?  It’s kind of a pain isn’t it?  You’re cell phone invariably has that hacky number that you typed in for lack of a better option, something like “18005555555ext2345”, and you just keep trying to memorize the digits as you hop back and forth between the phone app and the contact.

If you’re on an iPhone, you might even lose the phone number when you switch, requiring you to–GASP–write the number down.

Well, I’m here to tell you those days are over friends.  As the picture confidently states, I looked this in the face and said, “Challenge Accepted.”

Then I found out other people had already solved it.


So How Do We Do It?

The gist of it is simple: cell phones accept two special characters in a phone number, the ‘,’ and the ‘;’.  That’s a comma and a semi-colon, respectively.

A comma ‘Pauses’ the dialing process for a few seconds.  On Android, this appears to be cumulative; meaning, if you put two commas ‘,,’ it would pause for about four seconds.

If any Android users can verify this for me that would be awesome.

A semi-colon causes the dialer to ‘Wait’.  On most smart phones, this will result in a secondary button appearing in the bottom of the Phone app as shown in the image below:


Image Courtesy of OS X Daily


How Do We Put The Numbers In?

There are a couple ways to add these in.  On your phone create a contact and add a phone number.  You’ll see the following button near the bottom left ‘+*#‘; tap that and you should be greeted with a ‘pause’ and ‘wait’ button.  Tapping these will add the appropriate character and allow you to pause or wait your call.  See the image below for what it looks like on an iPhone.

iPhone - Pause, Wait icons

Again, I believe this process is similar on Android devices.  One site I found mentioned that the Phone app will recognize the letters ‘w’ and ‘p’ for wait and pause respectively.  A lot of the comments seemed to indicate that this feature may have been depreciated or removed, though.


What About My Mac?

The Contacts application as well as its predecessor Address Book support the addition of ‘,’ and ‘;’ characters in phone numbers.  Combined with iCloud, this makes it very easy to put these special characters into your digital Rolodex.

^ Yes, I just dated myself there… 😉


Anyway, I hope this was helpful!




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