Karthik’s digital footprint

Using a calling card got a little more easier, thanks to iPhone

with 12 comments

As many of you may know, calling cards are typically used to call overseas at cheaper rates than what ISD calls would offer. I use these cards frequently to call my friends and family in India.

For all the impatient folk that are tired of listening through the lengthy messages and pressing a lot of keys on the cell phone while using these calling cards to call someone, here is a tidbit.

iPhone gives you an option to store the phone number of a contact along with the toll free number of the calling card provider .This means you don’t have to press the recipient’s number every time you call him/her. You create a contact and assign it the recipient’s number along with the toll free number. Once you store this composite number you can directly call this number in the iPhone-esque way of feather-touching it and iPhone takes care of pressing the keys for you.

Let me use an example to drive my point home.

For example if the toll-free number of the calling card is 1-866-123-1234 and the number you wanna call is 8611234567, you can create a contact and assign the contact, the following number : “18661231234,918611234567″ ; 91 is the international code of the country, in this case it is India . I am assuming that you have your phone registered with the calling card provider so that you do not have to press the access code; only few calling cards provide this option. If not, the sequence, “18661231234,123123,918611234567″ would do; 123123 is the assumed access code. Now, all you have to do is to dial this stored contact in the iPhone-esque way of feather-touching it.

The question on your mind at this point might be about the location of the “,” character on your iPhone keypad. You can find a key that has the characters “+*#”. Press that key and you will notice the change of the keypad style. The new-style keypad has a “pause” key. Pressing this “pause” key would introduce ‘,’ character. The ‘,’ character results in a unit delay between the preceding and the succeeding number. If you had decided to introduce two units of delay you would type in two commas; your number now looks like 18661231234,,918611234567.

As few of you might have already noticed , this method of storing numbers can also be used to store telephone numbers with extensions , and thereby avoid the repeated labor of manually typing the extension numbers .

Written by Karthik Reddy

May 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

12 Responses

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  1. endocrinology says : I absolutely agree with this !


    May 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm

  2. Wholegamut… Did you actually try this? I don’t think this works at all. This is a business critical feature, and the iPhone simply doesn’t offer it.


    June 25, 2008 at 1:28 am

  3. Joe

    Absolutely. All my Indian numbers are stored in this fashion i.e, concatenated with the calling card number.

    karthik reddy

    June 25, 2008 at 4:05 am

  4. It is pretty reasonable but calling card support in iphone should be better…


    July 9, 2008 at 11:25 pm

  5. Uhhhh so if i have 300 contacts in india that i dial, then i would be expected to change all of those. and if my calling card or the pin changed then i would change all 300 numbers?


    August 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  6. Thanks!! This pointer is a life saver and eliminates the one big frustration and complaint I had about my recent iPhone 3G purchase. I use this not only for calling cards, but also corporate conference calls – I’ve gotten into a habit of storing conf IDs for various contacts so whenever I know I have to join a conference, all I have to know is who’s conference is it for. I just pick up the conf number from that contact and iPhone does the rest – its become so easy now thanks to your pointer. iphone also let me create a custom label for the phone number – so I can store it as “conf” – on my previous phone I used to store conf Ids as “other’ but this is much cooler..

    Thanks again!


    September 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm

  7. I just released a native iPhone calling card application so that you won’t have to change your address book entries (and also can use multiple cards):



    October 16, 2008 at 4:38 pm

  8. This is a very old trick and is possible even in very basic handsets. For example, in Simple nokia handsets, just type the calling card number, then use the “*” key to insert a ‘p’ (pause) as many as you want … and then type in the India number…it works perfectly!


    December 23, 2008 at 9:12 pm

  9. The calling card feature that is missing in the iPhone is probably the ONLY reason why I still use my SE p900. In the SE P900, I can store MANY calling cards and then choose to dial using a calling card or direct dial. This way I can have my normal contact list synced without any special codes or sequence and it works very well.
    I save a ton of money this way with VOIP2Go, T-Mobile MyFaves and my P900. For eg. Last month I used over 5000 minutes on my T-mobile plan but did not exceed the 300 minutes of the plan….!
    I’m a big Mac user but when I’m saving real money, it matters to me more.


    March 1, 2009 at 7:23 am

  10. I was somewhat surprised after I got my iPhone and found that calling card support wasn’t more graceful.

    So I turned to the App Store, and sure enough, there are several calling card apps. I installed one of the free ones, and it works perfectly.

    John Philip Green

    March 1, 2009 at 8:06 pm

  11. This feature I had in my earlier pDA. I bought iphone recently and I thought it was missing in iphone. iphone is marvellous it works wonderfully. Thank you very much.


    May 13, 2009 at 1:30 am

  12. With android + ‘google voice’ no more hassle of dealing with calling cards.Just enter the international code, followed by the number and hit ‘dial’.

    I guess this post is now obsolete. man, is Moore’s law awesome

    karthik reddy

    October 25, 2009 at 3:03 am

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