Phone Number Format "CLICK TO CALL" option on Web App

It would be nice if Airtable added a “click to call” formatting for phone numbers. That way if you use Skype/Teams or another service you can simply click the phone number you want to call. The mobile app allows it, so not sure why we can’t have on web app.

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I believe the tel protocol works in an Airtable URL field. But, the ability of a computer to actually dial from a tel-based URL is independent, of course, of the use of this protocol in web pages (such as Airtable).

I’m not a VoIP expert at all, but I think if the browser has a pathway to an installed SIP phone such as that provided in Apple’s continuity features, Airtable tel protocol links should work.

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The reason is simple - the mobile app is running in the context of a device that is a phone, whereas, the same cannot be assumed for laptops and desktops. As such, your browser is not able to interpret such abilities and provide that feature.

Thanks for explanation Bill. How did you get the Tel Protocol to link on your example?

I have tried using the following formula to convert telephone format to “tel:+##########” however it is still not clickable.

CONCATENATE(“tel:+”,SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE({Mobile Phone},"(",""),")",""),"-","")," “,”"))

Did you have to set the field to URL and manually enter the number? If so, that would be to much work for how many numbers we have.

Thanks again.

Yes - that’s exactly how I did it. I’m not sure if you can use a formula field to mimic this behavior, but I suppose you could use the API to populate clickable tel fields.

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Even though this won’t help your situation, I’m throwing this out there in case anyone else wants to extract the digits from a phone field. Thankfully the VALUE function will do the job very simply, no nesting of SUBSTITUTE functions needed:

"tel:+" & VALUE(Phone)

11%20PM

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This is far simpler and works, except for the small issue that it’s not clickable. Any ideas how a formula can update a URL field?

Not much anyone can do with this -

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That’s why I said above that this won’t solve @RnJ’s problem. It’s just a simpler way to pull the numbers out, nothing more.

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I would automate this with Zapier or Integromat, so when a new telephone number is added, the URL is generated.

Yeah, I agree, but unfortunately, this is likely the only way to get a clickable tel:// link into the table given the current design of Airtable.

But once again, this is another example showing a key missing concept that (if present) would address a huge number of problems and open a vast number of cul-de-sacs that users often hit. Since this is in the Product Suggestions category, I’ll take the liberty of going off message a bit.

Opinion from here down…

The feature that @RnJ wants is not a clickable link. Rather, what he (and thousands of others) really need is for every data type to support inline formulaic logic. (i.e., any given cell – regardless of data type – should support formulas). And such formulas should support HTTP references (i.e., the ability to request external data from other services).

Architecturally speaking, any cell value should be able to be rendered in a late-binding process that allows us to shape the data into arbitrary formats (indeed, rendered values as opposed to actual values) using formulas. Ergo, cells must support logically attached formulas that are applied to the data value which transform it into a rendered value. The original value is untouched and the rendered value is interpreted, not compiled.

It should be simple work for anyone to factor a link (for example) from existing cell data and other data in the record and/or constants.

In my view, the “formula” data type leads users down a path that results in increasingly complex arrangements, specifically convoluted data models. In fact, there is no such thing as a formula data type.

Hi, just a quick update: formulas that begin with tel:// are now clickable in the web app.

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Thanks! Great improvement!

Thanks for the update. I tried tel:// and it wants to work (it asks if i want to call using MS Teams), I select yes, then it gives me this error. I don’t think it likes the tel://, because if i just have tel: with the phone number it works in browser, however airtable doesn’t recognize tel: as a link :frowning:

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This error dialog is kind’a proof that it did recognize it as a link and attempted to make the call. However, something else prohibited the call from being made.

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Airtable DOES covert phone numbers with “tel://” into hyperlink, however when clicked it gives me that error in teams.
If Airtable would just recognize phone numbers with “tel:” as a hyperlink it will work fine. It just doesn’t seem to like the “//” which is needed for Airtable to recognize it as a hyperlink.

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks.

Yep - I get it.

I just performed two tests on my Mac/Chrome browser and the first link (without //) failed to do anything except open an empty browser window, whereas, the second test (with //) worked fine - it made the call.

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Bear in mind, tel:// is a protocol not unlike http:// and in good form, most browsers interpret these protocol requests both with and without the //. But again, the interpretation of the protocol is on the receiving apps end of the court.

In my view, both formats should be supported by telephone apps just as mailto: and mailto:// work and http: and http:// work for most browsers.

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Gotcha. Are you using Microsoft teams or another IP phone system? I am thinking it is just a MS Teams thing not liking the //. If so, hopefully Teams will add the protocol in the future. I am using Chrome Browser on Windows PC.
Thanks for your help and explanations.

I’m using the native phone client in Mac OS Mojave which is seamless across iOS and MacOS devices.

I used RCDefaultApps for MacOS to fix the URI/URL to start the specific app that I need. (in this case x-lite client).

It’s a very helpful tool to fix all kinds of default opening behaviour on Mac.

I found this information on the Airtable website and I just wanted to know is this available only on the mobile app or can this also be accessed via the web app. This would make the difference in truly making Airtable into a CRM for my company. If this can be done on the web app, could you please help me figure out how I need to format my records? Please advise and thank you!

Welcome to the community, @Bridget_Griggs! :smiley: The icons for quick calling/texting are only available in the mobile app. In the browser and desktop versions, only the phone number is shown.