Although dial-up touchtone services like voicemail and calling cards have started to be replaced by modern technologies like Visual Voicemail and voice-over-IP, sometimes they’re still useful and necessary. If you find yourself frequently dialing into a voicemail system that requires a password, making long distance calls using a calling card service, or even dialing somebody’s office extension, the iPhone still provides the ability to automatically insert pauses into your dialing sequence to help you automate the process.

Inserting Pauses when Dialing a Phone Number

When dialing from the iPhone keypad, you can do this by holding down the * key to insert a timed two-second pause, or holding down the # key to insert a manual pause — causing the iPhone to wait to send additional touch tones until you tap the “Dial” button again. These pauses are represented by a comma and semi-colon, respectively, and you can enter these characters directly into an iOS Contact record if you want to save the number that way — useful for when you need to reach somebody through an automated switchboard, for example.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.