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Five tips to get more out of the Google Phone app

Derek Walter | Jan. 12, 2016
Google’s dialer is a smart search companion, contact manager, and all-around phone toolkit.

Create quick responses

Sometimes you just don’t have time to talk. Or maybe you’d just rather just not have to explain to your mother why you haven’t called her in weeks. The dialer lets you create a series of quick responses to fire off a message on your behalf when you’re on the other line.

quick responses
Fire off a quick response next time you’d rather not switch conversations when someone else calls you.

To do this, go to Phone > Settings > Quick responses. There are four stock choices: Can’t talk now. What’s up? I’ll call you right back. I’ll call you later, and Can’t talk now. Call me later?

Touch one of the responses to edit the text.

When you receive a call, slide the middle button up to the message icon, and then choose which message to send back to the caller. Your phone will then fire it off as an SMS message.

Replace your contacts app

Nexus devices come with a dedicated contacts app, but just go ahead and shove it in the app drawer because you won’t really need it. That’s because the phone app does a bang-up job of not only organizing your contacts, but letting you import and export them as needed.

You can perform a lot of contact-management tasks right inside the dialer.

The app can take in or send away .vcf files from your device storage or a SIM card. Just go to Settings > Import to add new contacts. While it’s usually less cumbersome to just move over your contacts through a cloud account, it’s a good option to use if you need it.

All these tools are what can make a Nexus device feel like such an upgrade over other Android phones. You get the full resources of Google’s search prowess in a lot of different places, which can make those everyday tasks like calling the pharmacy that much faster.


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