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"Google Voice" Dialing Does Not Support "Pause"

On android phones, especially with ICS or later, you are suppose to be able to insert a comma in a phone number to create a 2-second pause (and a semicolon creates a hard pause, where the phone prompts to continue). Pause is dialing functionality people have needed since touch tones came out in the 80s. It's how you create a 1-button press that will navigate through voice-mail, extensions, and other systems to reach your intended call goal. This is more true today with voice-activated calling or common menu systems.

The problem is that if you use Google Voice, this doesn't work. Doesn't matter what model phone you have (failed on my Google Samsung Galaxy S and still fails on my new Google Nexus 4). If I use the phone's native dialer, or an Android app dial other than Google's, you can the needed behavior. Unfortunately I NEED to use Google Voice.

Another issue is that while you can set Google Voice as the default dialer for the phone, Google contacts do not provide a means to over-ride it for individual numbers, so you can't use your native dialer on that one contact requiring commas, or for the members of your family plan. And yes there's a "prompt per call" setting, but as soon as you use Google Now or Google Glass to make calls, that's useless.

People have been complaining about these 2 issues since 2010 (just search Google Groups). It's really disappointing that these fundamental needs using Google Voice and it's dialer ever existed, let alone are still around after 4 years.

The closest I've come to a solution was GroveIP, but it seems to have issues with Bluetooth headsets or non-IP calls that still need Google Voice (or maybe my settings are wrong), and it doesn't use the "default" number in a contact if set.

Has anyone solved this? Is there a good Android dialer app that will support commas and work with everything else? How about per-number dialer overrides?

Thanks.
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14 comments
 
I have had this annoyance for a while because I take many conf calls from car. And dialling from Car's native dialer calls via Google voice because I have it turned on.
The closest I've got to automating the settings toggle is to add a google voice widget on home screen to change the setting.

But the problem is, there are 4 settings (google voice on, off, ask every time, and international only). So it doesn't toggle on and off when clicking but rotate through all these settings.
 
Wish they would fix this already! Honestly it would only take a few lines of code to allow these characters - even with security/malice precautions added!! So annoying it's not there ... 
 
Agreed,   This really needs to be fixed
 
I hope I'm wrong but I am guessing it won't ever be addressed. Too bad because that pause thing would actually make Google voice useful for me (i.e. WebEx/GotoMeeting calls etc).
 
I'm hoping this issue will go away once Google Voice is properly merged with Google Hangouts.
 
Issue still exists after Hangouts migration :( 
 
I have found the same complaints posted in the Skype community. However, fixing this isn't simply adding a "few lines of code" as previously suggested. It's because of how the phone network itself is set up, something neither Google nor Skype can change. 

I am pasting in a response from someone in the Skype community (forum name of KcSUpjm4) who has given a detailed reason why this is not easy to pull off (it's beyond my technical understanding, but it might help explain things. What would be better would be a posting from Google explaining this, but I guess they might not want to admit they can't figure this out):

I quote: 

"I suspect this arises because the original comma approach assumed that MF4 dialling was being used to deliver the whole number, but that hasn't been true for many years. These days, whether on cellphones or VoIP networks, the dialled number (E.164 address) is delivered as part of the digital signalling, not as tones. So, adding "comma handling" means separating the number into two parts. The first part would be sent using the digital signalling to create the call. Once the call is established, digits after the comma(s) could be sent as MF4 tones. However, that doesn't always work if the receiving system wants the extension delivered as out of band signalling rather than in-band tones. So, while I support the idea, it would be a mistake to think this is simple."
 
It's also not as complicated. I've work in analog, touchtone, and voip services, and ran my own pbx. Cell phones already support comma pausing (iphone, blackberry, even android on the main transport). On my iphone I dial a complete bridge call with pin and password as a single string of characters. You can even use modems over voip services (I ran FAX) and touchtone pause in the middle of dialing. Individual touchtones will always work. The initial reason for a "send" key is not because the number must be sent in one unit; it's was to provide the user with editing ability before transmission. Most of the works sends a phone number one digit at a time.

All that being said, since it works on all my other phones, and not in Google Voice calling, I'm not convinced it can't, especially since we really are talking about only needing it outside the phone number, so even a stupid rule of "won't work in the first 10 digits" is acceptable.
 
The work around I use is Voice Choice and mobileday.    My phone is set to dial using google voice number by default,   For Concall numbers,   I use Voice choice to automatically dial using the native cell number and mobileday enters the full concall number from my calendar.   I do have to put the prefix of the concall numbers in voice choice but once I entered the common ones,   webex, Zoom, FreeConf.   I rarely need to add more concall numbers to voicechoice.    i also don't care I am using the native phone number to dial in to a conference call because people don't see that number.  Being able to dial a concall number with one tap on the road is a life saver.  
 
Honestly, how difficult would this be to implement?
 
I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that certain relay details are at play.
 
This really needs to be simple. I'm tired of my phone prompting every time for what to dial the number with. I have 3 dialing apps on my phone. All we need is an indicator in the contact list for each contact for which service/app should be used, and a phone default for when there is no indicator or that app/service doesn't exist on that phone. Oh; and Google Voice still needs to fix having a dialing pause indicator. This is all extremely simple to do.
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