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Smart Dialing reportedly demoed for Windows 10 on phone

No one could ever claim that the dialer on the current version of Windows Phone is exceptional. Sure, it works, it is easy to read, and it has most functions that we expect from something as simple as a dialer.

However, it is missing Smart Dialing – the ability to type someone's name using the keypad to bring up their contact information. This feature saves you the extra step of opening the contacts list and scrolling until you find the person you want to dial. Instead, as you type those initials (D…a…n…) the list sorts down to the number you want.

Until now, we have not seen the new dialer for Windows 10 for phone. The one currently on the preview is far from finished and not representative of the final product. A new video reportedly coming out of the Microsoft WinHEC conference shows how the new dialer – at least in Chinese – will behave.

The video shows the new dialer while the buttons are (virtually) pressed, narrowing the search. Interestingly, there is also appears to be a built-in Yellow Pages, so if the person or place is not in your contacts, it can search outside of your phonebook to bring you any results in a seamless experience.

We are sure Microsoft will reveal more about the phone functions in Windows 10, so for now file this under 'likely'. At this point, we see no reason why a Smart Dialer would not be included. After all, if they are rewriting this app from the ground up, why not spruce it up with some features?

Source: IT Home; via WPArea.de; Thanks, Anaan, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

231 Comments
  • FINALLY!
  • Absolutely love that UI too. Looks great. It just makes me so much for excited for /BUILD// to see how I can implement these new UI features into me application.
  • whens build again?
  • April 29 – May 1
  • 2016
  • Only took 'em almost 5 years, lightning pace.... /s
  • Yeah I know, right?
  • Yeah.. Didn't WinMo do this back in the 60's❓❓
    ........
    Sometimes I just wish they would mesh the people hub, and the dialer, into one app.... That would be less cumbersome, and if done right could be more functional... Might also be less "confusing" for new users.
  • Yes win mo did. I'm glad it's back but it's about time!
  • Prioritization takes presidence.
  • I agree 100%
  • windows mobile was way ahead of it's time...
  • No,, it was about right.... If you think about it iDroid followed up with these things, and more....
    .......
    Now, if you're a WP fan, and you don't know any better, you might think WinMo was ahead of it's time, but the reality is that WP is behind it's time... Lol.
  • Windows Mobile WAS ahead of it's time back in 2005 and had a pretty rapid development pace up until then. Unfortunately after WM5 was released development slowed to a crawl. Two years later the iPhone was released and a year after that Android, and Windows Mobile had still barely changed since the WM5 release. 
  • I'm surprised ms made it a standard requirement to have sim apps support on all wp8.x devices since it's largely useless in US/CAN
  • I guess it depends on how you look at it..
  • Symbian was ahead of its time
  • By now you guys should know Microsoft doesn't want to just copy paste a features. They want to "reinvent" it or at least have some sort of unique selling point.
  • So, you're saying it takes 5 years to redo the phone dialer❓
    ............
    If that's the case then they seriously need to just copy&past for the time being,,, at least initially leaving their OS with more functionality off the bat....
  • Symbian had this
  • symbian had call recording also and a lot more features which are absent in WP and it enabled 3rd party tools to record calls, but these tossers at microsoft are busy in exploring each other..cough..cough...in exploring something new
  • My LG flip phone had call recording back when smartphones were called PDAs. WP was missing a lot of features that many phones had already not just the ones we know now. To be honest, they have actually worked at a decent place considering they've rebooted the OS a couple times already. The one thing I REALLY hope they get right is the fluidity that 8.0 had. The apps that have been decoupled from the OS are feeling much closer to the 8.0 versions nowadays so it seems they are at least aware that they have a though act to follow while adding 50%(made that up) more functionality.
  • Symbian had a lot of things.
  • Awesome things. Android copied all of them!
  • It shouldn't be about who copied them, rather who has what now.
  • No one has FM Transmitter now, and just BB has 'Call/End Call' buttons on decent devices. Or small AND good speeced smartphones (nothing against >4'', but I would love an alternative).
  • THe only thing Symbian didnt have was specs (arm v6 vs v7, memory) ENTER ANDROID.
  • Symbian? My bad a running As!sung Star Next had this 4 years ago...
  • As!sung star next had "Symbian Qi" a version made by Samsung but very similar to Nokia Symbian
  • Qi for Sony Ericsson IIRC
  • SYMBIAN HAD IT 10 YEARS AGO.
  • +930 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They do really listen :)
  • I hope we can edit it too
  • Agreed.
  • Guys, download rapdialer. I have been using it since months now, it's perfect.
  • Yeah, finally
  • Likely !
  • Have anyone noticed the call recorder in the calling screen at the end?
    This is another much needed feature!
  • Woo even though I never needed it
  • You know what, the first sentence spoke about WP dialer not being special...BULLSHIT....I was given a Samsung optimus at work.....you want to talk about some unnecessary fantastical bullshit...this phone takes the cake.
  • You mean LG Optimus?
  • Yes, the piece of dog shit...been using my 1520 for everything except....well odd ball people calling...i run a college.
  • Woo
  • 1. You don't need to scroll down to find your contact.
    2. You can use Cortana.
  • Looks nice, but they still need to bring PASTE back to the phone dialer in WP10.
  • This would be good. For calling contacts I use voice commands probably 90% of the time. I suppose more options are good, though.
  • Well, the speech thing hardly works with any other language than English.
  • And hardly works with English also.
  • If you want to copy a conference access code from an email, and use it then you can't now!!! Have to write stuff on paper.
  • I know. It's annoying. I was agreeing with you.
  • Re the conference call issue, have you tried the Microsoft Join Conference app? I haven't had a chance to use it, but it sounds good...
    http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=0264f9a0-689a-40d9-86ad-b20b70ebaad8
  • Yes its great.. It pulls conference details and phone number from your calendar.. All you do is say "conference join" to Cortana and it joins the call for your current meeting automatically including entering the pin
  • Really...I got a new job and I have meetings out the arse...I have the app you speak of, but I always have someone around so I haven't been able to try it....
  • I bet typing conference join would achieve the same result.
  • Yeah, you could type it into Cortana. And hit 'Enter', and she'll do it.
  • Is it not there in the preview? I haven't be able to install the SDK in the tech preview yet, don't have a eligible device for the phone program. Can still paste in the dialer with the latest version of 8.1.. for instance I was able to copy a number for Sky off saynoto0870.com, paste it into the dialer and make the call.
  • Bring paste back? Isn't it already available?
  • copy paste to dialer is must ... really helps when copying number from a text file or website
  • It is already there, just did it
  • Doesn't the phone already highlight the number so you can press it and dial it directly from the web page email etc?
  • Agreed! I'm also glad it appears that they added back a visual cue as to which button ther user just pressed. It's beyond annoying that current win10 on phones has no "button press" indication on the dialer.
  • I just pasted it to dialer on 8.1, does urs not do it? I pasted text from the web to dialer....am I missing something?
  • They still need to fix c&p since they f**ked it up in wp8.1 as I cant select more then one word
  • Didn't even realize this was missing EDIT: Its not missing...
  • You cannot paste in current W10 preview.
  • Ohhh you mean in the preview. I was confused also. I find I can paste in 8.1 but I remember not being able to edit what I've pasted. To lazy to try right now LOL
  • "Current" is the word.
  • why these leaks are in chinese language ? 
  • It's not really a "leak" if it was given during one of the WinHEC conference sessions, is it? As to why Chinese, WinHEC is being held in Shenzen, China, so...
  • hmm makes sense ... before this there has been many leaks and all were in chinese language 
  • I can almost picture you sitting there with a glass of wine just waiting for comments like this one to appear. 
  • Do you have a source for your claims it's in Shenzen Daniel? Or are you content to just throw out wild accusations such as this? /s :) No one has given you enough crap for your comments lately so figured I'd try it out.
  • Source: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/WinHEC/2015 Use your favorite translator software for the sessions in chinese.
  • I guess they don't give a flying 7uck.
  • Maybe duck is a better term....we are talking Chinese here...
  • Yeah, but I never met a Chinese who wouldn't give a duck... Lol.
  • Seems foreign...
  • Very nice indeed a new build would be amazing this time with alot more phones supported please.
  • I've been using this feature in RapDialer for ages. Microsoft, better pay up that guy and make RapDialer the native dialer please
  • Tis a good one...
  • Truedialer works well for this also
  • Rapdialer is crap
  • Will be much quicker especially with the number of contacts I have for work.
  • Thank god for that I was about to move to ios or android
  • Just for a smart dial u were about to switch.
  • One more reason why everyone will love windows 10
  • Lol ios doesnt even have smart dialing
  • I think he's being sarcastic?
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9owIZxsGUc
  • Thanks, embedded.
  • I miss this from the old Windows Mobile days. Good to see there are chances of having it back. Fingers crossed.
  • Please god, no old WinMo.  CE kernel is terrible.  Long live NT kernel! not to mention you needed a stylus to do anything in the old CE because it wasn't touch aware.  Sure the phone stuff was touch-sized, but the rest of the OS was not.   I installed a third party app launcher just to hide the CE OS so I didn't scream when I had one.  Samsung somethingorother.
  • W10... W10.
    ........
    W10.
  • Wow, it looks like you like W10 3x
  • Well, that's my way of saying that it can't come soon enough....
  • I'm digging the dialer.  Very slick.
  • This feature is a must need for a smartphone... Especially for a windows phone.. This feature is what we call as user friendly...
  • The dialer looks more minimalistic. But they should keep the old virtual dialing number keys.
  • Wen in USA?
  • Lol
  • So this meme is a thing now? lol
  • Oh, yeah. It's the real deal.
  • Finally. Could feed in bing data for numbers.. Also for incoming calls with unknown numbers. Android feeds in this information like a charm
  • The WP 8.1 dialer is still in the stone age at best, it was about MS! About fu***** time!!
  • Yellow pages in dial would be awesome!!!!!!!$$$$$
  • Goood! Great news,.. Any word comes out of u Daniel,I consider it a fact even if it is a rumor ... As no info is posted , only if it is right!
  • You my friend, are an example of the blind leading the blind....
  • You just called Daniel blind. :)
  • Yes, I did. The point being, never take anyone's rumor as truth without evidence. Never.
  • It would be nice to have all the buttons on the screen at once instead of 2 screens to switch between for Number pad and Mute, Hold, Speaker Phone, etc.
  • I second this.  Always anoying to use dialer on a call menu and flick back to speaker phone etc.
  • I'm pretty sure they always leave the top empty because your ear and face is rubbing against the phone pressing all the buttons until the proimity sensor kicks in.
  • Still can't edit the number? :/
  • This is just what we need guys! The demise of android is nigh!!!
  • Very nice :P
    Also on my personal "want-list" for the Dialer/Phone is to display the name of the City/Country (based on area code) for incoming calls for numbers not saved on my addressbook. Android already does that for years now and is super handy.
  • Area code of unknown incoming calls as a Name would help.
  • Before I thought Microsoft wrote down the features they want in their next release. Now I think they implement ideas on the fly. They'll be coding the dialer and be like "that'd be cool if I could implement yellow pages here. George you know the line of code for that?"
    George then adds his line of code. Now its a feature, tested, amended, then put in future build. Im pretty sure they're flying by the seat of their pants over there
  • You give too much credit... More like hey..Bobo The Clown....
  • Dialer on wp8.1 is much better!
  • How do you know 3-5 months before the update is even ready?
  • Yes, wp8.1 dialer is better thn current preview have. But not better thn this
  • Why not have Skype handle phone calls too. One would prefer a Skype call, if available, anyway.
  • Depends on where you live. Here in Norway most calls are free so Skype isn't that much used.
  • Is it Lumia 535?
  • So innovational. After 10+ years, we finally can dial like we once did with our Pocket PC phones back in 2002. Amazing progress, Microsoft!
  • We can can do that already with an app. Like Rapdialer.
  • Wp8 &8.1 are about simplicity. Many peoples happy with it. Now w10 is about features, thatswhy they added back all wm features
  • Not all. I'm still waiting for address book caller id. What the NA carriers charge for A-caller id is outrageous
  • Leaked in China? Is all the coding being done over there?
  • No...just stolen...copied...and torrented
  • No, that's where all the device makers converge, at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, or WinHEC for short. http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/WinHEC/2015
  • Previously i installed W10 TP on my L730. But after facing some issues i roll it back to Lumia denim. Insha'Allah I will install second TP build of W10 for phones. I wish it will not be so buggy.
    (Bad English, Sorry)
  • Can't wait. This is something that should have been in from the beginning with WP.
  • well, windows mobile was already able to do this. standard feature. also call recording. windows mobile was way ahead of its time. then came the crippled iphone and everybody goes bananaz... only thing iphone did was having the much friendlier capacitive touch screen. but features? did (and still does) not even come close to windows mobile.
  • Yeah, now Microsoft adding all features of wm in w10. Wm is still far better thn IOS featurewise
  • I think this time they are serious on Windows 10..
  • not until they give us an option for desktop similar to androind start screen.  Tiles are cluttered.  Not elegant.  I LOVE windows and my 920 but i am tired of the start screen. 
  • Desktop like Android? Care to explain?
  • U should her lost from wp sir.
  • Then go use Android.  I chose Windows Phone SPECIFICALLY because the Start Screen is infinitely better than the chaotic and ugly Android and iOS screens.  You can KEEP that garbage.  I wish you Android/iOS people would quit influencing Windows Phone.  I'm sick of you people.
  • Yup.  Nothing worse than hearing phandroids and isheep going I'd buy WP if it had feature X of the device I'm using.   MS struggle and throw off their timelines to create things like a 'notifcation center' and those who derided the OS for not having it then make up other excuses.  Now I'm stuck with a horrible notification center which duplicates start screen functionality for nothing.
  • Now for the big question When in India?
  • Thanks you soooomuch Microsoft...but pls call recording option...pls...
  • Not legal in many places - unfortunately.
  • This is needed, would love to be able to record my phone calls
  • I bet your girlfriend thinks the same of you....lol
  • Finally!  
  • Built in yellow pages. Google fucked now for that.
  • Won't be built in yellow pages.  Will be instant Cortana/Bing search results added to your filtered results.
  • im the only one here who doesnt like numpad without separators between numbers? also i dont think that it is respecting wp ui (not that am one of those guys whining from this perspective too much) also, when calling, that buttons for hold and such are just plain ugly! icons made just from the stroke without filling, not placed in a sqare or circle, or colored....bleah. better send them a lot of feedback when this dialler arrives.   on the bright side, i love the idea of a BIG button for call or end call, is nice. respecting this filosophy, hold, speaker and numpad(during call) should have a button too, being so much used, also love this smart dialling, missing it from feature phones. now i got used without it, but i'd still love it back   PS: tabs: recent, X , favorite(speed dial), dialler. so what is "X"  ?
  • No, you're not the only. The W10 dialer is a visual downgrade over 8.1.
  • Not just the dialer but the whole phone app. I really dislike the icons added for History / Speed Dial. The text was enough.  Now I feel like I have to move my thumb all the way up to the icons now instead of swiping the list from wherever. Whether that's true or not is irrelevant.  having the icons makes it feel like that should be a tap instead of a swipe.
  • CoOl Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's about damn time...wtf
  • UI seems amazing!!
  • WOO HOO...I loved using this on my HTC Tilt & Tilt 2! ;)
  • So... They finally paid for the licensing of the T9 dialer... About time Posted from my HTC M8
  • You know the name of the person but you don't memorize the number. Most of the time it is the scenario because you don't get to memorize all the numbers in your phonebook. You only know the name.
  • "Is far from finished..."
    Everything in the mobile/phone side looks like is far from finished. The problem is that they have little time to finish everything since they announced that Windows 10 will be released in the summer.
    I'm very worried that we'll have the same WP8.0 situation, when simple things like Radio dialer was not present and after they released an update stating this "come back features" as the "super extra cool new features". This even happened in WP8.1, with the Xbox Music beta fiasco and the Folders and File Explorer coming later.
    MS, I DON'T WANT UNFINISHED OS ANYMORE!!!
  • THIS
  • Would we still have speed dial and history with easy swipes from left to right?
  • let´s hope.
  • Oh hell no man, this is Microsoft here, one step forward, 18 steps back!
  • wow, finally. reminds me of good old windows mobile where this actually existed. windows mobile was way ahead of its time...
  • Everything keeps moving up to the top. Still not sold to it
  • I miss address book caller id not really amused at how much it costs on service providers in NA
  • What would be smart is having a settings option in the dialler which enables the phone to jump back to the start screen when I hang up on a call instead of having to either long press and close, or backup countless times.
  • Just tap the windows key to get to the start screen anytime.
  • I don't want to just 'get the start screen'. I want the phone dialler to close and return me to the start screen, which is not the same thing. My tidy mind doesn't want dozens of suspended applications hanging around.
  • Then why don't you use the back button? It'll close out of the app for you.
  • No, it doesn't. It just moves one step back. You're calling a contact, either from the people hub or from a shortcut on the homescreen. The contact card opens. You choose which number to dial, the dialler opens and calls the contact. You hang up, to be left with the contact card on your screen. You hit back again, and get the people hub, a third hit of the back button finally returns you to the start screen. It's much more elegant to return to the start screen when you hang up on a call. The existing UI is a clumsy waste of key presses here. There should at least be a choice. If you hit the windows key, the people hub and contact card are left open.
  • Probably the most desired feature for me!
  • RapDialer for WP already does this. Been using it since WP 8.0. It's a great alternative to the default dialer. The only thing it cant do is to show missed calls or incoming numbers as its a OS limitation. The Yellow Pages search looks promising though.
  • ITS ABOUT TIME!!! IT ONLY TOOK LIKE 5 YEARS!!! A truly welcomed addition :)
  • The feature is nice, but that dialer is all kinds of ugly. The keys themselves are all crammed up in the center and there is no clear delimitation between them. The former is probably because they scaled the whole thing down, to make room for the top control.
  • So you like "pretty" dialers. 
  • No idea what you're on about. The current dialer looks like crap.. The new one is just beautiful..
  • Maybe if you took another look at the picture while rereading what I said.
  • Yes! Finally. Been waiting for this since my first window phone HTC HD7
  • Don't like the dialer without separation. The icons also are strong enough
  • All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. 
  • Windows 10 is going all out.
  • Looks fantastic. Absolutely neat UI. Fabulous!
  • Ooh la la
  • Where's the quick save button gone?
  • About time!!
  • Currently, you don't have to scroll down a list. You can search for a contact within the Phone app and the call will be placed as soon as you tap on the contact's name. What this really represents is Microsoft changing their view on how calls should be made. In WP 8.1, there is no stand-alone dialer app. It's just a part of the Phone app. Most people don't memorize many phone numbers any more. So, the current Phone app makes sense from that perspective. Even in Windows 10, the majority of people will likely open the Phone app / Dialer and tap the search button to find a contact.
  • I pin my favorite people to start, then I tap them and initiate communication from their contact card.  
  • When in Canada?
  • Why are most (if not all) OS leaks Chinese ones? Is that where the OS is being developed? Forgive me if it sounds like a stupid question lol I'm just curious.
  • This looks really good. How it currently is, where I have to pull up the contacts hub, if I want to find a number in my contacts to dial, is a pretty awful waste of time. The first time the dialer for W10 appeared it looked extremely bare. They have brought in the features big time looking at the demo. Can't wait to get my hands on it, 1520.
  • You don't have to pull up the contacts hub. Instead of opening the dialer, you tab on the contacts icon right beside.
    I don't get the hype.
  • Anybody have noticed the bluetooth icone in the calling screen !!?
  • My God they sure took their time... Better late than never I guess.
  • I don't see the benefit here. After opening the Phone app, I can choose between dialer or contacts list depending if I have a number. So it's not a big deal. Doesn't make things faster and let's be honest, who uses the dialer anyway? You either use search, a link or a contact.
  • Nice. I tried some third party apps but returned to the built in one
  • I think MS has the patent for smart dialling!!
  • We all are big fans of WP,but now one thing would be clear that we are far behind from the basics of smartphones, things like smartdialer comes also with basic keypad phones,and we WP users have to waiting for whole os update for that, time for think beyond WP, I loved WP so much & hated android till now but we are missing so many things,we have to wait for long times for small things like data toggle,notification bar,smart dialler,call recording etc. Don't you feel that all those come with OS, pl think some big Microsoft and also we WP lovers.
  • I hate to knick pick but call recording isn't a default feature on any os or phone mostly because of regulations with recording a phone call
  • Look at that ugly numpad!
  • Symbian called, and they want their feature from 2005 back. Also, I hate the look of that dialer UI; blech, it's fugly.
  • Is it just me or this dialler actually looks like Android's dialler
  • Get ready ppl outside of the u.s the yellow pages feature maybe u.s only lol
  • Because Bing(Cortana) doesn't search businesses outside US?
  • Im missing that feature where you type last three numbers and it shows contact
  • Keep it up Microsoft.
  • Thank you Microsoft.
  • Still they are complaining about windows 10. How stupid they are.
  • It seems that pivot's gone...
  • :(
  • hopefully microsfot wll change the dial pad to win 8.1 dialpad as this one is small and looks like bb 10 dial pad 
  • New build ?
  • Love my Lumia 930 but when I first went to make a call from it and discovered smart dialing was missing I was shocked! Such an obvious and useful omission, about time they added this functionality.
  • Curious enough that my old Nokia E52 has that feature. It seems they forgot to implement this one in the new Lumia series
  • A nice feature to have (will never use it) but the UI is pretty weak compared to what we have in 8.1. Looks more like the dialer on my 2011 Android phone than WP. No pivot action. Badly designed icons shoved to the top. Just underwhelming.
  • while everything seems all dandy and everyone getting happy, windows 10 seems to be gaining just pure features and loosing it's own, there's not much easily swiping to left and right anymore, just gotta use both hands to do simple functions now
  • How about supporting "Edit before dial" feature? I often have to resort to this so have created a OneNote page with numbers that I frequently dial.
  • WOW a standard feature from Windows Mobile finally coming to Windows Phone, LOL, 5  years later....
  • Seriously?  People still use a dialer?  I can count the number of times I've used the dialer on one hand.  I either use voice dial a contact or I use voice to tell it the number to dial.  Sheesh.
  • Fansstastic
  • They told us windows 10 for phone come all Lumia,however only few Lumia get that.i am using Lumia 1320 in Bangladesh I am using Windows 8.1 denim..anyone tell me when Microsoft announce windows 10 for all Lumia phone or I switch another Lumia for windows 10?need suggestions...thanks All..
  • I want to do a similar video to record demo of an app WITH TOUCH GESTURES. could someone please guide me on how to do??
  • I just use Cortana.  I say "call PERSON work" or "call PERSON home" and don't even need to mess with the dialer.   For noisy environments, I tap the search button, start typing the person's name until their name shows up in the results list above.  Tapping their name brings up their contact in the "PHONE" results page.  Tap their name again to open their contact info and tap their phone number to call them. I know this is a few more steps then smart dialing, but it works until Windows 10 comes out.  
  • Cool. I like that it can potentially look outside of your contacts and hopefully pull numbers from the web. 
  • Booooo... UI looks like Android, no metro.
  • Finally!  It was really a shame that Ballmers' Microsoft was not able for so many years to introduce the most basic functions into Windows Phone which had already been employed decades ago in Windows Mobile. Ballmer was a catastrophe for the development of Windows Phone, investing absolutely nothing into it's improvement. I had often the impression that the speed of the evolution of Windows Phone was comparable to that of a small enterprise comprising 1-2 employees. It's not at all surprising that Windows Phone could not succed in the markets. And this is Ballmers's fault. Since his removal, there is hope again and definitely more competence and logic  in Microsoft's developments.
  • Its so sad that my E61 did this, let me see..... 10 years ago. Welcome to 2005, Windows 10.
  • I've been with WP since they first launched WP7 .. It sure does take them an extremely long time for simple things like this.. I've been waiting for this since launch. Can't believe its just now coming out. I should have jumped ship a long time ago back to Droid but I'm still here.. The 1520 has me still hanging on. I hope WP10 will be worth the wait and commitment.
  • Waiting for windows 10
  • I hope the "Smarts" include Palm-like features, where you can dial first initial of first name followed by last name.  Like D R u b i ...