Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Easier Dialing to Webex/GoToMeeting Conferences from iPhone

There are few things in this world I detest more than having to write something down from an electronic device just to have to type it back to same said device. After several miserable incidents of trying to copy the access number down for a conference (or even worse, memorize it!) I decided to go hunting for a better way. What I really wanted was a way to copy and paste the conference code into the dialer, what I found was better.

Thanks to a wonderful poster going by the name of droptopMBP in the Apple forums, dialing those pesky numbers is now easy with a small amount of up front work. In the notes field for your conference call event in your calendar, simply add a tel URL in the following format:

Note the p for a pause. The only shortcoming of this little shortcut is the inability to add a # at the end, but hey, one button instead of memorizing 9, I like it. The only problem I had is the need to wait a few seconds (like 5-10) for it to finish dialing the access code before I hit the # key. If you listen very carefully, you can hear it mashing the DTMF tones long and slow.

Here is a copy of the exact post with links to details on formatting the string properly:
1) Place the phone string in the "Notes" field (doesn't work in event title or location fields)
2) Prepend the phonestring with the HTML telephone URL "tel://" (ref: )
3) Follow the remaining rules for embedding telephone URLS which you can read here: ( )
4) Use "p" in place of "," for Pause
5) Don't include "#" (haven't identified a substitute yet

Example: The following works to dial the number 555-555-6543, pause 1 second, then dial the passcode string 123456. You would need to press # on your phone keypad to end the passcode unless the conference service you're using automatically accepts the code after a timeout...


Now, go forth and conference without driving off the road.