The first Dialer for Sony’s SmartWatch

Introducing the first Dialer app for Sony’s SmartWatch. It enables direct phone dialing, as well as smart T9 search through the contacts!

The app inherits a lot from the Fast Dialer unique functionalities which have been proven to work flawlessly in the last two years, since the time the Fast Dialer app was first published.

This includes the fast T9 smart search through the contacts by name or company name, as well as the search using two alphabets at the same time. The Available alphabets are:

* Latin (all Latin-based European languages are supported)
* Cyrillic (Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Bulgarian…)
* Greek
* Hebrew
* Arabic

Following are the short instructions and a brief video demonstration.


SWIPE LEFT: to delete the last typed number or character
SWIPE RIGHT: to delete all
SWIPE UP / DOWN: to switch to T9 search
SWIPE UP / DOWN: to list through the search results in T9 mode


To use pauses when dialing a number:
LONG TAP ON ZERO: to enter + in numeric mode
LONG TAP ON ONE: to enter ; in numeric mode
LONG TAP ON TWO: to enter , in numeric mode

[youtube 3Q72THbtLyc]

Get the app from Google Play!

How a small change can make a big difference

Fast Dialer by default searches through both names and numbers. But, it was thoroughly explained to me, that this may cause not only confusion, but also unwanted expenses. Namely, Krakozawr (to whom I’m also grateful for the localization on Belarusian) wrote that often, when he searched by name and pressed the call button, he ended calling a wrong number (for example, an international number, instead of a mobile), because the same contact was found both by name and by (the unwanted for frequent dialing) international number.

Well, yes, this doesn’t happen so often, because most people are used to type three characters in order to find the desired contact. But, when I added an option to turn off the “search by number” (this option is in the Functionality tweaks submenu), suddenly, the search became much faster – as only 2 chars were necessary in order to find the contact you want to dial. And, of course, you’ll be dialing the desired, i.e. the default number.

Well, that’s nice, but should you go deep into the settings in order to be able to search by number again? No 🙂 Just turn on the long forgotten “search all numbers” option via a long press on the blue # button – and quickly find the number you are after. Neat, isn’t it?

Senior mode

Glad to introduce my favourite new feature: Senior mode. It’s to be found in the “Look and feel” submenu, as it means no change in the functionality, only in the visual aspect of the app.

For me it was always a bit problematic to find my way through the letters, when I was “on the go”. The latest version 2.2.0 provides two solutions for this, one is to set a custom colour for the letters of the second language, which is a very standard way, and the second way is the “Senior mode” which may seem a bit peculiar. It means that the letters of the second language are displayed LARGE, so that they are hard to miss. The numbers are gone, since we all know where they stand – as it is their position that is relevant, not their value. The Latin letters are also gone – since a) many use mostly (or only) the second language, and b) because many know the position of the Latin letters on the dialpad (for example, I wasn’t aware I knew that, until now).

I'm fit for the senior mode, obviously.
The ones that use no second language, the Latin letters will be displayed LARGE in senior mode. Very cool. But, still, I wasn’t brave enough to set this option per default, you should find it in the menu and try it out.

Please note that the functionality remains the same, even when only the second language letters are displayed, the search is by two alphabets, and by numbers, of course.

Another new thing in this release is – apart from several fixes – usage of the hardware call button. Quite strange that not until several people on the forum requested this feature, did I realize that this button could be used for more than just starting the app… So now, when your search yields only one result, pressing the hard call button will call that contact. Otherwise, the number in the dial field will be dialed.

Fast Dialer v.2 – Some meaningful colours

Options for contacts / results sorting. Time of last call.What’s in version 2?
Everything that was in version 1, plus some new features. Its good to mention that the basis of the app remains the same, so it won’t lose on performance because of the enhancements, which is, unfortunately, not always the case with our favourite programs.

And what’s new?
Contact sorting. It used to be alphabetical only, by name, but now you can choose to sort by preference (i.e. how often you contact a person), or by the time of the last call – which is now the default sorting, since I find it the most meaningful of all.

Time of last call. Always displayed for each contact (where it’s missing – no calls have been logged for that person).

Red is for wildcard search modeWildcard search mode
Long pressing the star (*) button turns on the wildcard search mode. The number field turns red (sort-of red) to make this obvious. The typed * is a wildcard for any combination of characters, digits etc. within the name / company.

What good is this for? Let’s say you have several contacts whose name is Ian, and you want to dial the one that works for Intel. You start to type 426 (for Ian) and you may end up seeing something like:

Ian Christopherson
Ian John Boose
Ian Van Der Saar (Motorola)
Ian Gillan (DP)
Ian J. Christopherson (Intel)

So, to speed up the search, long press the *, and afterwards type 46 (for In…) and voilà – you found the Ian you wanted to dial.

Search all numbers mode.Blue is for search all numbers mode
Long pressing the number sign (#) makes the number field turn blue, which means the search all numbers mode is on. Since normally the Fast Dialer searches only through the default numbers, this is useful if you want to dig out another number.

I must admit that I intended version 2 to include an option to always “search through all fields”, as well as other things, but I still haven’t found the time to start working on that. So, this is only a step in that direction. Nevertheless, I think this is a useful improvement which will make the user experience even better, as well as cover even more search scenarios.

By the way, there is an option to display the starred contacts in a different colour, in the default case – yellow.

Someone may note that this was too much explanation for obvious things, which may be true, but since there is no explanation available in the app itself, I just want to make sure people will understand correctly what the app does and what it doesn’t do.

A bug in the Android dialer makes an international call by mistake

Android robot logo.
Image via Wikipedia

While doing some tests with the stock dialer of my LG GT540 I discovered that it could easily make an international call by mistake. How? Lets say I have a friend in Belgium, his name is Peter, and his number is +32 123 4567 and that’s how I have it stored on my phone. Now, if I have another friend, let his name be Andrew, who lives in my hometown, I have his number saved as: 1234567. (Yes, ridiculous numbers, but just to be easier to follow.)

Now, the bug: when I want to call Andrew, I find his name in the contacts list and press the button to call him, but the dialer starts an international call to Belgium, and says I’m dialing Peter, showing also the number: +32 123 4567!

How can this be? It’s a stupid bug. Pity LG left it in. It seems very unlikely that someone has contacts with numbers, similar as in this example, but the bug exists.

Normally, when you press the call button, you are sure you dialed the number that you just saw, and very likely, you immediately put your phone next to your ear. You’d be surprised when you hear who’s answering 🙂

My LG GT540 still runs on Android 1.6, I’m wondering if the same thing exists in the 2.1?

Is this happening also on your Android phones?

UPDATE: The problem is reported to exist on other devices as well.

Fast Dialer

Latest version
Updated extended description

A multi-language Dialer for Android 1.5 + devices.

Find and dial the contact you want in just a few clicks, regardless of which Alphabet the name is written with – Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic…

The app searches through the contacts by name or number, using two different alphabets at the same time, for example English and Russian.

All Latin-based European languages are supported by default.

Available Alphabets:

  • Greek,
  • Cyrillic – Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian…
  • Hebrew
  • Arabic

Download a trial version