Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to enter a conference call phone number into a meeting invitation

I love my iPhone. I love that I can open meeting invitations on it and that the meeting phone number is recognized and highlighted, so that, if I touch it, the iPhone dials it for me. I love it even more if the meeting organizer entered the next bit of information correctly. That would be the conference access code. If entered correctly, the iPhone either pauses for a couple seconds, then dials it, or the iPhone displays a button (or maybe just the words - depends on the iOS version) that says “Dial xxxxxxx#” (where “xxxxxxx#” is the conference access code, which in this example ends with the pound/hash sign.
Trouble is, many users don’t know how to enter the phone information so that the iPhone (and probably the Android, too) will work this way. The way you do it is like one of these:
nnnnnnnnnn,xxxxxxx#
or
nnnnnnnnnn;xxxxxxx#
The n’s are the phone number. The x’s are the conference access code. In the first example, they are separated by a comma, which causes the phone to pause two seconds, then continue with the next string of numerals. In the second example, they are separated by a semicolon, which causes the phone to pause until you signal it to continue, which you do, on my iPhone, by touching the words “Dial xxxxxxx#”.
This works with extensions too. And it works with successive strings. For example, someone the other day told me that his phone number was (xxx)xxx-xxxx, then dial 8, then dial 123. In my contact record for him, I entered this: (xxx)xxx-xxxx,8,123
Here’s what people do that I hate, In the meeting invitation, they (oh, so helpfully) enter this sort of thing:
Conference Dial-in Number: (xxx)xxx-xxxxParticipant Access Code: xxxxxxx#
Now, when I want to dial in, I have to do one of the following:
  • Write down the access code, then dial in, then manually enter the access code.
  • Memorize the access code, then dial in, then manually enter the access code.
  • Dial in, go back to the calendar app and look at the access code, memorize it or write it down, then return to the phone app and manually enter the access code.
This is a drag.
Not helpful.
No thanks.
The next time someone does this to you, send them the URL to this blog post.

1 comment:

  1. I do the exact same thing with conference call in numbers, in my meeting invites. I include this number sequence in the Location and the Description, so is simply a tap to join the conference for me and everyone else.

    Super handy - Thanks Rob :-D

    ReplyDelete