A feature request for Apple or anyone else that cares that might also be in the business of mobile phone OS software…
When will someone realise what a pain in the a** it is to join a phone conference on a mobile phone. Here’s the usually process when dialling in from the road:
1) Reminder goes off;
2) You typically need to open the invite and copy the phone number;
3) Switch to phone app to dial (or, maybe if you lucky the number what highlighted for direct dial – depends on where number was stored)
4) Switch back from call to invite.
5) At this point you probably need to write the CEC down on paper as most phones won’t play the DTMF tones when you paste into the call app (separate idea there).
6) Switch back to phone app, manually enter CEC into phone app, hopefully in one go. At some point you probably need to actually listen to the IVR to learn what other numbers you need to press around the CEC that the meeting invite didn’t contain.
Sounds a little too hard for a basic task of joining a phone conference, right (please enlighten me if this problem has already been solved).
Here’s my feature list for modern day telepolygamy…
a) Make storing a Contact Record about phone conference number simpler
I save common Conference Entry Codes (CECs) as a contact with all the appropriate pauses (p’s) and hashes for one touch dialling. Please make it so I don’t need to do a Google Search and test dial 3 times before I get this cryptic magic number right.
b) Make booking a CEC simpler
When I’ve made my booking, email me back a vCard or similar with the contact record (point a). Include this vCard in the meeting invite.
c) Allow me to save the CEC with the appointment as another field like, but not instead of, Location
I usually have a room booked (or multiple) and then want to save / send the CEC for the call. Attaching a Contact record and sending as a vCard in a field designated by all PIMs should do the trick.
d) Allow me to dial the CEC from the appointment in one touch
(hmm, just realised I how now automatically refer to it as a touch instead of click)
When the appointment reminder pops up, allow me to dial straight into the call with one touch from the reminder window (e.g. buttons for “View”, “Close” or “Dial-in”).
e) Allow me to send the CEC to a nearby physical phone (e.g. polycom, speaker phone)
This might be low-tech, using DTMF tones, or high-tech using something like Wifi or Bluetooth. The point it in this day and age I don’t think it’s necessary to retype numbers between devices. The later, high tech, solution probably requires some standards between software and (conference) phone devices.
Let me know what you think…