How to Setup Speed Dial on Android Phone When Time is of the Essence

Kids are amazing—especially a 5-year-old boy in Colorado recently. Finding his mother in a state of diabetic shock, he had the wherewithal to dial 911 despite having clubbed hands and a condition that affects his joints. Rightfully, he was dubbed a superhero.

Since most of us s mere mortals panic during situations of intense stress or pressure, wouldn’t it be handy to have 911 on speed dial for your kids? Wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to contact your spouse with the touch (or two) of a button? On the other hand, perhaps dialing all of those numbers to order a pizza currently requires excessive effort.

Whatever the reason may be, speed dial can save you time.

Given the exponential number of Android devices out there, how to use speed dial on an Android may not come so easily, however. We’ll discuss how to use speed dial on an Android phone for certain devices that maybe aren’t quite instinctual. We’ll also show you more than one way it can be done in those instances that allow you to choose. You will find that it is actually quite easy when you have the steps in front of you.

Method 1 : Speed Dial on Samsung

Several people have experienced difficulty figuring out how to add speed dial on these Android phones. Phones like the S3 and the Samsung Captivate have inspired questions from many users. Even though the expression sounds horrible because we like cats, there is also more than one way to skin one. The nice thing is that most Samsung phones afford the ability to assign 999 contacts a speed dial.

Step 1: Go to Apps from your phone’s Home screen.

The Phone icon may also be located to the lower left of the Home screen. If so, this saves you a step.Samsung Apps

Step 2: Find the Phone icon.

You can also get there through the Contacts icon.

Step 3: Tap the “Menu” button.

It looks like three vertical dots.

Step 4: Select “Speed Dial.”

This is also on the lower-left on most device menus.

Step 5: Select your contact’s personalized speed dial entry.

Tap on the “Add contact” button if necessary or select an empty number slot. (Voice mail is probably already assigned to a specific number or combination—usually 1.)

Step 6: Choose the desired contact.

If prompted, press “OK”. To add more contacts, repeat Step 5. Now you should be able to long-press the corresponding number of your contact for a quick dial. The Samsung S4 offers “Air Touch,” in which you don’t even have to physically make contact with the screen.

air touch

Method 2: Speed Dial using Google Voice

What could be better than knowing that not only are you calling your favorite person in the cheapest way possible, but also the most efficient? For those who want the luxury of unlimited talk on their cell phone plans, Google Voice offers a way to keep in touch without racking up a huge phone bill. However, no one wants to go through all of their contacts and tack their Google Voice number to the front of every single number.

Google Voice will probably soon give way to its successor, Project Fi, but for now users still have access. Not all carriers offer Project Fi.

One method for how to speed dial an Android phone is to set up your Google Voice number in Contacts, insert a pause by using the letter “p” or comma, and then fill in the number that you want on speed dial. In addition, this is still viable, although some have reported problems using it. Another, perhaps simpler approach is listed below.

1. Send out a request for your contacts to text your Google Voice number.

When someone texts your Google Voice number, Google assigns them a unique ID, starting with the numbers 406.

You can invite everyone to an event on Facebook or another social media site notifying everyone that you now have a new number. To make it easy on you, ask that they include their name.

2. When you receive the 406 text, add it to contacts.

You could insert this ID as that person’s second mobile contact if you want.

Now when you call their new 406 number, you’ll be using Google Voice.

Method 3: The Sony Xperia Quandary

Sony Xperia deviates slightly in their approach to adding a contact to speed dial, but not by much. Sometimes these little nuances are what can make things seem tricky, at least until they are explained.

Step 1: From the Home screen, tap on the Phone icon.

Another way to add contacts to the Home screen is to start by holding your finger on any unoccupied space.

Step 2: Tap the Menu icon.

Menu Button

If you are using the method where you long-pressed the Home screen mentioned above, you will now want to tap on “Apps,” then “Shortcuts.”

Step 3: Select “Speed Dial” settings.

Or tap “Direct Dial.”

Step 4: Tap the Add icon next to the Dialer Pad number you wish to use.

This step is not necessary using “Direct Dial.”

Step 5: Choose your contact.

You might have to scroll to find them.

Method 4: Direct Dial on Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0)

Per Wikipedia, 3.4% of users are not finished with their Ice Cream Sandwich. Many of these same users also found determining how to set up speed dial on their Android phone a little confusing. If you have been assigning speed dial to numbers 1-9, you might have to undergo a slight paradigm shift, but ultimately, you will have the same result.

You might even find that you like it better, as many have.

Android 1.0 introduced the concept of widgets. The entire purpose of a widget is to provide quick information or easy access to apps or settings. That’s really no different than the intent for traditional speed dial, is it?

Step 1: Start by opening the main App icon.

This is the center icon in your system tray.

Step 2: Locate the “Direct Dial” widget.

“Direct Dial” should be in the “Widget Folder” to the right.

widget folder1

Step 3: Long-press the “Direct Dial” widget until you see a grid.

The grid represents the various scroll-able sections of the Home screen.Direct Dial

Step 4: Release the widget

You may want a contact or contacts on each Home screen.

Note: Some people don’t like the idea of their contacts littering their Home screen. The alternative is to star your favorite contacts. When you are in Dialer and you swipe through the screens, you will find icons for your favorite contacts. On Version 5.1, the only difference is the word “Favorites” is now replaced with the words “Speed Dial.”

Method 5: Speed Dial for CyanogenMod or other Custom ROM Solutions

While perusing the Internet to provide you with the best, most informed, and well-rounded information (and yes I do research, probably contrary to popular belief), I came across some complaints that many custom ROMs don’t offer a speed dial function. That is true.

However, keep in mind that one of the advantages to a custom ROM is that it isn’t loaded with bloatware and that you (and not your phone’s manufacturer or carrier) can control and tweak the content of your phone. So while it is true that most custom ROMs don’t offer speed dial inherently, there is still a workaround and it can be one of your choosing.

1. Download Dialer One


It’s free.

It also allows you to speed dial by linking contacts to numbers on your keypad, or through the use of T9 predictive text. Additionally, it offers features for automatic organization, supports SMS and email by long pressing a contact, and it allows you to customize settings.

2. Download RocketDial Dialer and Contacts


It’s also free.

This one is very customizable. It also offers backup and restore options, smart filters, and speed dial numbers 1-99.

rocket dialer preview

3. Download ExDialer


It’s free too—but–—it is a trial.
It’s user-friendly and provides search options. It supports more than 30 languages and allow you to directly call or text someone with a swipe.

When it comes to setting up speed dial on your Android phone, where there’s a will, there’s a way. It might not be the way that you are used to; and change is hard, but thank goodness, we aren’t all still using rotary phones.

If you are still experiencing difficulty adding speed dial on your Android phone, or if you have some tips to share with us, let us know in the comments below.

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