Long-time Android users have grown accustomed to using the built-in dialer app to place calls. But with Andoird 4.4 (aka KitKat), Google made drastic changes to how users interact with the dialer. In this TechRepublic Two Minute Drill, I'll show you three ways to use the new dialer more efficiently.
I will be demonstrating on the Verizon-branded, Motorola Moto X, which is one of my favorite Android devices. As with most Motorola devices, the Moto X received the KitKat update before handsets from many other OEMs.
First and foremost, the overall look of the dialer has changed. When you first open the dialer, you'll be greeted with avatars for most recently placed (or received) calls.
1. Tap to call your contacts
Remember prior to KitKat, you could swipe to the left to message and swipe to the right to call? That action is no more. In the main screen you will see your favorites with a small star on the bottom right corner. Tap that star to open the contact. From the resulting window, you can tap the phone icon to call the number, tap the messaging icon to send an SMS, tap the star to remove the contact from favorites, or tap the "head and shoulders" icon to open the contact for editing, sharing, setting ringtones, and more.
2. Quicly view a contact's history
Back at the main dialer screen, you can tap the bottom left corner to open up the recent history. If you tap an entry in that history, you can see details for the history of that contact.
3. Opening the phone dialer
Tap the bottom center of the main dialer window to open up the phone dialer. The phone dialer itself behaves exactly as you would expect — you tap the number out and then tap the phone icon to initiate the call.
Although it's not something most will have much trouble getting used to, the KitKat phone dialer has changed how you interact with contacts and call history. Although it may not be as efficient at first, you'll get used to the new way of life on KitKat.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.