Your Long-Awaited Wish to Use T9 Dialing on iPhone is Finally Granted With iOS 18 – Here’s How to Do It

What to know

  • T9 is a predictive text technology that lets you quickly search for contacts to call by pressing the digits that correspond to the letters of their name. 
  • To use T9 dialing on your iPhone, open the Keypad on the Phone app and press the numbers that corresponding to the letters of the contact’s name.
  • Once a close match is found, tap on the contact name on top, and call.

T9, an abbreviation for Text on 9 Keys, is a shortcut to dialing phone numbers from your list of contacts. With it, you can type letters – instead of numbers – on the keypad and the device will automatically detect the closest match for the contact in your address book.

After being unavailable for so long, the much-anticipated feature has finally arrived, thanks to the latest iOS 18 update, currently in developer beta (how to install). While the update’s standout highlights include the ability to lock or hide apps at will and new customization options for the Control Center and Home Screen, we can’t help but feel a sense of relief knowing that we can now dial numbers effortlessly on our iPhones. Finally, T9 dialing is here, and it promises to make our lives just a little bit easier!

Here’s how to quickly dial a number on your iPhone using T9 dialing. 

How to use T9 dialing on iPhone

T9 dialing has been a feature on Android for quite a while. But with the release of iOS 18, iPhone users will be able to call a contact with T9 dialing too. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Keypad on the Phone app. Here, you’ll see that each number represents three to four letters of the alphabet. Press the digits and enter the corresponding letters to search for the contact’s name. 
  2. For instance, if you want to call ‘John’, the corresponding numbers to the letters are 5-6-4-6. Similarly, if you want to call ‘Mom’, press 6-6-6.
  3. Once the contact’s name appears at the top of the screen, simply tap on it to highlight the number. Then tap on the dialer to start the call.

T9 dialing is a faster way to call contacts, especially if you don’t remember their phone number or don’t have the contact as one of your favorites.  

Why didn’t iPhones have T9 dialing before?

T9 dialing was all the rage back in the day when phones had physical keypads. However, since Apple never had a device with a physical keypad, it never implemented T9 dialing. Thankfully with iOS 18, iPhones now finally have what’s considered by many to be the most basic smartphone feature.

What happens when there are contacts names with similar letters?

In the case when there are multiple contacts with similar letters, you will see the ‘More…’ option under the first name. Simply tap on it and choose your contact.  

We hope this guide helped you quickly dial a number on iPhone using T9 dialing. Until next time!

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