6 ways to maximize the Android phone dialer

Whether you’re trying to avoid telemarketers or you want to share a crazy voicemail you just received, the “stock” phone dialer on your Android phone has some pretty clever tricks up its sleeves.

Not only can the Android phone dialer warn you of spam callers and share a voicemail message via Gmail, Google Drive, or Dropbox, it can also suggest phone numbers based on your location, help you organize or delete shortcuts to “favorite” callers, let you customize your own “quick” text responses for declined callers, and more. 

Note: I tested these tips on a Nexus 5X running on Android 7.1.2, using Project Fi as my carrier. The calling features on your phone may vary depending on the make, model, and carrier of your device.

Rearrange your ‘frequent’ callers

As you make calls on your Android device, the Android phone dialer will add your most recent and frequent callers to your grid of “favorites” and “frequents.”

Ben Patterson

You can arrange your favorite and frequent contacts any way you want; just tap, hold, and drag.

That means you can take more of a hands-off approach when it comes to managing the contacts you’ve got on speed dial, but Android can be a little too eager to put a random but recently dialed contact on your Favorites list.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to take charge of your “favorites” and “frequents.” Just tap and hold a caller’s icon, then drag it anywhere you like. You can also delete the icon (just the icon, not the contact itself) by dragging it up to the Remove button near the top of the screen.

Create your own ‘quick response’ text messages

It’s an oldie-but-goodie: the ability to decline a call with a text message, a feature that Android phones have been able to do for years. (The iPhone eventually followed up with its own version of the feature.)

Ben Patterson

It’s easy to customize the SMS “quick responses” that you send to declined callers.

I became a much more avid user of the…

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