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Apple iPhone's dialer finally gets the T9 dialer with the latest iOS 18 update

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Apple introduced a good set of new features for iPhones with the latest iOS 18. Although the update is currently in beta, it brings features such as improved home screen customization, improved iMessage, an updated Control Center, and more.

You can even download the iOS 18 wallpapers both in light and dark modes for your iPhones or Android smartphones to customize the home screen setup. Apart from all these features, the iPhone dialer is gaining one basic smartphone feature, known as T9 dialer support.

T9 is short for "Text on 9 Keys" and is a predictive text technology that was pretty famous in the pre-smartphone era. With the T9 dialer support, users can simply type the name of the contact using the number pad, and the dialer will instantly show matching contacts.

T9 uses English words on a numeric keypad by pressing a single key for each letter instead of multi-tapping the numbers for the correct letters. The software then intelligently predicts the word and shows the result.

Android phones have had this feature since the beginning. For example, if you wish to search for "Sam" in your contacts, all you need to do is type "726" on the dialer, and the dialer will show the list of contacts with the word "Sam" in them.

According to an image shared by journalist Varun Mirchandani on X, Apple is finally adding support for the T9 dialer with iOS 18. After you have installed the iOS 18 update, you will be able to simply type the numbers corresponding to the contact's name to get them to show up in your dialer.

T9 dialer on iOS 18
image via Varun Mirchandani

While Apple users were denied this basic dialing feature for years, there has been an alternative method called "Spotlight Search." To use this, users have to swipe down on the Lock Screen or Home Screen to access the Spotlight Search bar. Here, you need to type a few letters of the contact's name and then tap on the specific contact to directly call them.

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