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The tel URI for Telephone Numbers
pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 3:29 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

RFC 3966 - The tel URI for Telephone Numbers
[faqs.org...]

An interesting comment was made on Twitter today that the W3 were noobs and that you couldn't link to telephone numbers. Heh! You know me, I do remember seeing reference to the tel URI a couple of times but never any real discussion on its usage. How dare them call my homeys noobs! We had fun with it.

In all seriousness though, anyone here using...

Dial <a href="tel:+1-714-555-****">+1-714-555-****</a> for assistance.

I've never really given it much thought until it was brought up today. The RFC 3966 is an interesting read and the W3 do make use of the tel URI throughout their website. Makes me wonder if I should start burying myself in the W3 some more. :)

[edited by: engine at 9:59 am (utc) on Aug. 21, 2008]
[edit reason] obfuscated [/edit]

 

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 3:40 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are also the newer "wtai://wp/mc;" and "wtai://wp/ap;" methods for "make call" and "add to address book" respectively on WAP 2.0 (xml+xhtml MP supporting) mobile devices -- Both of which I use quite shamelessly to "link to" telephone numbers on my mobile pages... :)

Jim

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 3:48 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are also the newer...

Ah, am I pushing some stale stuff? Or are there multiple methods for different environments? Of course there are P1R! How about tel URI links in HTML? Are they good practice? Based on the comment I saw today, they confused someone as the link did not resolve. ;)

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 4:17 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

> stale stuff

No, not necessarily. "wtai:" is for mobile devices, where phone support is available by definition. "tel:" can work on PCs as well.

> they confused someone as the link did not resolve.

The functional problem is that as people have moved away from analog modems to broadband, fewer and fewer computers ship with voice modems. If there isn't a modem in the computer, then there may not be a driver to handle phone-related stuff. The browsers "pass" tel: URIs to the OS, and the OS recognizes that it's a telephone number, and looks for a device driver to handle it. If there is no such device (i.e. 56k modem or FAX/printer) attached, then the OS will return an error, and the user will get whatever the browser outputs as an error message -- "Some content on this webpage require a program that you don't have installed" from IE or similar from other browsers. Of course, this problem is not going to happen if the link is displayed on a mobile device.

So, if you use these types of URIs on "regular" Web sites, it's probably best to have "supporting information" surrounding the links -- Both in-context and as additional 'help' pages. Something like, "If your computer has a voice modem or an attached FAX printer, try our click to call!" -- With a bit of tweaking and the right audience, that could work.

I should add that I haven't tried using "tel:" URIs on Web pages in years -- since I removed my analog modem, in fact... :) So, some of the above may be inaccurate due to faded memory; Test, test, test if you try any of this.

Jim

cmarshall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 10:52 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use wtai URIs for my sites. They've worked on all the phones with which I've tested.

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 2:06 am on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just found out today (first-hand) that iPhones do not support wtai: links. Apparently, you have to use tel: links for the iPhone, so although the "make call" function can still be supported, "add to contact list" is not an option.

Just one more exception to handle... :(

Jim

cmarshall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3727805 posted 10:30 am on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just found out today (first-hand) that iPhones do not support wtai: links.

Ahh...cr*#.

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