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The "phone" dialer app on my Nexus 6P (the app that launches when you press the "phone" icon from the homescreen's launchpad) is driving me insane. Is there any way to configure it to go straight to the dialpad when launched? Or at least the normal phonebook?

I'm specifically annoyed by the "speed dial" page it shows when you first launch the phone app:

  • It almost seems to pick contacts to display on it at semi-random, and as far as I can tell, there's no way to manually override its decisions about whom to show on the page.

  • The page is like a minefield of clickable tiles. The slightest accidental touch on 95% of the page (anywhere besides the tiny 2mm x 2mm zone around the three vertical dots used to trigger "other actions", or the ~1cm diameter action button for the dialer) will instantly and irrevocably trigger dialing the contact. If you accidentally touch somebody's icon at 4am and hit "end" instantly, there's nothing you can do. The call is going to be made, and show up on their phone as a missed call. On at least 3 occasions, I've accidentally dialed whomever was on the icon flanking the action button that launches the actual dialpad.

  • It also makes the phone almost completely unusable for one-handed use, at least, for anything besides accidentally triggering phone calls to random contacts with your thumb.

I've gotten to the point where I've started having anxiety attacks every time I have to make a call, terrified that I'm going to accidentally trigger some unwanted action while attempting to get away from that quick-access screen and get to the actual dialer or the real phonebook app.

Is there a settings page somewhere to do things like disable the "speed dial" screen, or at least choose who's on it and/or what the default action is for touching somebody's tile on it?

  • AFAIK: 1) there's no setting to change the default screen, but I believe it should be possible to create a shortcut to dial pad/address book (will research it later). 2) if you favorite someone from the contact, it will be shown on there instead. You can use this feature as a workaround, e.g. by creating a fake contact and favorite it. 3) I'm not sure if it's possible to change the default action when touching the tile. – Andrew T. Jun 17 '16 at 22:21
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Is there any way to configure it to go straight to the dialpad when launched?

No, at the moment, there isn't. You will need to first press the Phone icon, which will load up the stared contacts screen, then press the dialer icon at the bottom center of the screen to get to the dial-pad

Or at least the normal phonebook?

Contacts app does this. You can place it on the homescreen for quick access.

It almost seems to pick contacts to display on it at semi-random, and as far as I can tell, there's no way to manually override its decisions about whom to show on the page.

If you star a bunch of contacts, they show up at the top of this window. You may rearrange them by pressing and holding on the contact tile. What follows the starred contacts is the set of contacts whom you frequently contact.

If you want to clear the frequent contacts, press the 3 dot overflow menu on the top right and tap on "clear frequents"

A simple way to avoid going to the dialer is to directly search for the contact name from the persistent google search bar at the top of the screen. This will in turn show the contact you're looking for along with the telephone number details from where you may place the call.

Another option would be to open the phone app, then search or directly type in the entire number(if the contact isn't stored). If the contact is indeed stored, their name will directly show up. If not, you'll see something like "Call 9xxxxxxx".

If you fancy handsfree calling, it is as simple as saying - "Ok Google, dial 9xxxxxx" or "Ok Google, call Mr.X on his cellphone"

One other option is to try out some other custom dialer apps! There are plenty on the play store.

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