I was an Android user before. Now I'm using an iPhone X but cannot get used to the dial pad because I can't find the person by typing their name like I did on my previous mobile phone.

Is there any method of searching contacts in the dial pad by typing the name in iPhone? Is there any easy way?

  • 5
    You might want to send in your feedback on this lack of functionality in iOS, and how you had come to rely on it on your Android device.
    – IconDaemon
    Aug 1, 2019 at 12:26
  • 2
    Don't start with the dialpad--it's only real purpose is to send beeps to automated machinery. Most numbers you want to call you just click on a link, search for a contact (Pull down on the main screen) or call from your favorites list. It's rare to dial by hand any more, and therefore--why would you want to combine calling people with that old number-centric interface? Poor design choice to do so.
    – Bill K
    Aug 1, 2019 at 19:09
  • Coming from Android for almost a decade, it's also the most frequent feature I use. I use the dial pad to dial the name and pick among the list—Super, super fast. And yes, I already sent feedback to Apple for the feature and other stuff that I found super helpful in Android but are lacking in iOS. Sep 15, 2022 at 4:35
  • Thats a killer feature i really miss. Everyone please use the link and submit a feature request
    – Jepzen
    Aug 15 at 13:52

3 Answers 3


In terms of an easier way, you have a number of options you can try. In addition to using the Contacts tab as pointed out by Nimesh Neema, you can also try:

  • Installing one of the many 3rd party apps, many of them free, that offer the functionality you're after (i.e. typing a contact's name via the dial pad)
  • Adding most of your commonly used numbers into your Favourites list
  • Using Siri to make calls, but not necessarily by saying, "Hey Siri, call...", but also by enabling the Type to Siri feature (more info below)
  • By swiping down from the middle of your screen to conduct a search and then doing one of the following:

    -- start entering the name of your contact until you see them listed as your "Top Hit" and then tap on the phone icon to call them (or the message icon, etc)

    -- enter the word "Call" followed by the first few letters of the name of your contact to get the option to call them

Enable the 'Type to Siri' feature

On your iPhone do as follows:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on General > Accessibility
  3. Swipe up until you see the Siri label
  4. Tap on Siri and enable the Type to Siri option at top of screen
  5. Exit Settings

Now when you hold your Home button down (or in the case of an iPhone X or above, by holding the side power button) you’ll get a keyboard pop up from the bottom allowing you to type directly to Siri (see screenshot below):

  1. Now type the word "Call" followed by your contact's name, or just type your contact's name to be presented with a contact card from which you can call, text, email, etc.

You can’t type the name of contact on the dial pad, only a number. Unlike some other mobile OSs, iPhone (iOS) doesn't provide such feature. This is what you can do instead to achieve similar result.

  1. Go to the Phone app → Contacts tab (3rd item, show in centre, at the bottom of the screen).

  1. Tap on the search bar shown towards the top.

  1. Type the desired contact’s name to search from the list of Contacts.

  1. Once located, tap on the contact name to reveal the details for the contact.

  1. Now tap on the desired number to make the call.

As Monomeeth said you can install:

one of the many 3rd party apps, many of them free, that offer the functionality you're after (i.e. typing a contact's name via the dial pad)

One app that has a good rating is Speed Dial - Smart T9 Dialer. You can get a better description of features from the developer's website.

I have installed this app. It takes a little time to work it out, but it offers heaps of features and really helps you organize all of your calls and messages from one place.

Be aware it does have annoying ads (which you can pay to remove) and you do need to make in app purchases for some features, so it may not be your cup of tea.

I would try the other suggestions by Monomeeth and Nimesh Neema first to see if you can get used to a different and maybe even better way of making calls, but if that doesn't rock your boat this could be the one for you. :]

Regards, Liam

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