I’m on a lot of conference calls requiring an extension to be dialed. Since I’m often in the car or walking while talking, I need a quick way to enter the extension and the “#” button. There’s a nice tool for Apple iPhones and Android phones to help speed the dialing.

The meeting invites typically look like this:

Phone Number: 800-555-1212

Meeting Code: 123456

The phones understand the format of the 800 number, but they do no know to dial the extension (meeting code).

Set-up iPhone Extension Dialing

iPhones give you two options. One is a pause, shown as a comma in the number, and the other is a wait, shown as a semi-colon. Why the difference? If you know how long to wait before automatically dialing the extension, then you can use the “pause”. It’ll dial the extension for you. If you do not know how long to wait or would like to manually initiate the extension autodial, then use the “wait”.

For example, if I want the extension to dial automatically after the conference phone system picks up, then I would save this number in my Contacts: “800-555-1212,123456”

If I want to call the conference phone system and manually press a button for the phone to continue to dial the extension, then I would save this number in my Contacts: “800-555-1212;123456”

You can use these formats in meeting invites, too. The phone will pick up the formatting and dial according to the comma or semi-colon.

Here’s a visual example of setting up a contact for the “wait” (which I prefer):

First, open the contact record:

iPhone Contact Record

Next, add the phone number,

iPhone add number

Next, press the “+*#” button in the lower left. You’ll see the keypad change and have new options.

iPhone Pause and Wait menu

 Next, press the “wait” or “pause” button. My example uses the “wait” button. Then add the extension or meeting code.

iPhone add extension

 Then, click Done and you’ll see a screen like this.

iOS pause for conference number example

 When you press the phone number in the contact, the phone will dial the number and show you a new option in the lower right. Once the phone call is answered by the automated system and it’s time to dial the extension, just press the button in the lower right.

Dialing a conference extension on an iphone

That’s all there is to it. Now, you can set up your contacts and meetings with this time saving format.

Want to do it on Android? All you need to do is choose the comma. There’s no “wait” in Android.