With the Android 4.4.3 update in June came a new dialer with some intuitive features and a classy, smooth new interface.
My favourite feature is the instant number recognition that they have built into it. When you get a call from a number that is not stored in your contact list, the dialer app looks up the number in the background and displays the business name if it finds one. This is all done very quickly and is transparent to the user. It also works if you look up a number and dial it. For example, if I key in the number for Pizza Hut in Hawthorn and press the call button, instead of displaying the numbers in the call log, it shows “Pizza Hut”. Features like this look obvious and intuitive once you see them in action and I caught myself wondering why Android hasn’t done this sooner!
The search bar also includes nearby places which show up in a neat business contact style and look just like a contact that has been stored on the device as opposed to something that was looked up online.
They have also changed the interface to look more like an app, with large cards that can be moved around for displaying frequently contacted numbers (Speed Dial). The previous dialer was limited to 3 cards followed by a list. The call log now shows a little clock icon on the right, tapping which shows you more information about the call.
Overall, a cleaner interface combined with the phone number recognition feature makes this a noticeable improvement over the old dialer.