Smartdial: Combining Calls and Contacts

In a recent post I talked about the introduction of Smartdial to WM Professional and described a bit of what it does.  In a nutshell, it provides you with a filterable list of calls and contacts.


But I thought I should say a little bit more about the “calls and contacts” part of that description.  Smartdial aggregates your contact list, your SIM contacts, your call history items, and your speed dial entries into a single searchable list.  Needless to say this could be a pretty large list.  I don’t consider myself much of a talker, but even my call history list gets pretty long so when you add contacts to the list you might worry that it could get unmanageable.


To try to prevent that from happening we did a couple things in WM6 to make the list more people centric and manageable.


First, we collapse all the call history entries from a particular contact or phone number.  So if you have called your friend Bob three times and he has called you twice you’ll still only see a single entry for him in the list.  The icon will indicate the direction of the last call (incoming, outgoing, or missed) and the communication method will be set to the last used (work, mobile, etc.) so that you can easily call back at the same number.


This doesn’t just apply to people in your contact list – if a phone number is not recognized as being associated with a particular contact then all of the calls to or from that phone number are collapsed as if it were an unnamed contact.  And of course in either case you can easily get to the full list of calls to the person through the summary card and the Call History Per Contact feature that I described in another post.


Then, because this is a dialer after all, we order the list by time of last call.  So the first entry in Smartdial will always be the contact or phone number that you most recently communicated with.  Because we collapsed all the call history entries for a given person they will be ordered based on the time of the most recent call you had with them.  So of course you can always press talk-talk to call back the last person you talked to, and it is easy to find people you contact often at the top of the list.


Of course, with the list ordered by call history it becomes even nicer to be able to use filtering to find people you haven’t spoken to as recently who are further down in the list.  So it all ties back in to that original post about filtering in Smartdial – how convenient J

Comments (9)

  1. Mark says:

    Love the Smartdial feature. One feature that is especially annoying though is the auto-lock feature while you are on the phone. I want to lock the phone after 30 secs to avoid button pushes when it is in my pocket, but I don’t want the phone to lock when I’m on the phone. Listening to voicemails longer than 30 seconds then unlocking it forces the keypad into contact lookup mode instead of normal touchtone (which is needed to press 7 to delete voicemail after listening to it). I would include this in the next build – a setting to allow you to disable locking while phone is in use.

  2. Travis says:

    Speaking of unnamed contacts, I notice that if I saved a phone number in outlook with the default settings (+1 (area code) phone number) it causes it to be an unnamed contact in WM. Is there a WM setting that will allow the phone to recognize incoming calls and text messages as one of my contacts even though it has the +1? Or is the only option to go through Outlook and change all of the phone numbers so they do not contain +1?

  3. Jerry says:

    how can I disable the smartdial? I do not see any option in my version of Windows Mobile 6.1. Can I use registry?


  4. ChaniJ says:

    Thank you, Mark,  for the feedback on the device lock during a phone call.  Unfortunately I’m not seeing the behavior that you describe.  I know it’s been a while but if you are still interested in the problem and you post more details on what phone, version, and how you are turning on the locking feature hopefully I can help find out what’s going on.

  5. ChaniJ says:

    Travis – I’m actually not seeing the behavior you are describing either.  When I edit my contact phone numbers to include the +1 and receive a call from that contact the caller ID does recognize them.  I interpretted "unnamed contact" as caller ID showing just the phone number and not matching the contact during incoming calls, but I may have misunderstood.  I definitely don’t think you should have to edit these items in outlook though.  If you’d like to provide some more info or a way to contact you I might be able to help as well.  Thanks!

  6. ChaniJ says:

    Jerry – I don’t think there is a way to disable smartdial, but I also might not understand what you are asking for.  What behavior would you expect if smartdial were disabled?  What would you be doing and what would you see, as compared to what you see now?  Thanks!

  7. rifleman says:

    Is Smartdial only for WM Professional? Does it have a limit to the number of entries it can search?

    I ask because I have a Blackjack I that I’ve upgraded to WM6, which does not find some of my contacts when I start typing from the home screen.  

    For example, I have two friends named Chuck, and when I spell out C-h-u-c-k I only get a match on both when they are both in my call list, however other searches have yielded people in my contacts who were not in my recent call list.  So, I am confused why Smartdial doesn’t have consistent results.  When I use the contacts app it always finds all possible matches.

    What gives?

    p.s.- not to mention that the 1-800-FLOWERS problem still persists in the dialer app with my WM6 Blackjack I, the Fn key does not seem to have any effect on getting numbers from letter presses…

  8. ChaniJ says:

    Smartdial is on both WM Professional and WM Standard.  There is no limit to the number of contacts it will search.

    If you are able to find a contact in the contacts application but not in Smartdial the thing that jumps to my mind is that the contact doesn’t have a communication method listed in it.  I believe that Smartdial only shows contacts that have a communication method (a phone number, email, etc) whereas the contacts application will definitely always show you all contacts.  If it is the case that one contact doesn’t have a communication method it won’t show up in Smartdial whether you search or simply scroll down to find it.

    If you do actually have a communication method then it may be that you have one of the phones where the dialer has been replaced by a partner (I’ve seen these and they look quite different) or there might be an issue that I’m unaware of.  Let us know what you find out.