Saturday, May 01, 2010

iPhone, Safari, and tel URI's

I think it's very cool that tapping a tel URI in Safari on an iPhone allows you to actually call the number. (A "tel URI" is basically a phone number link, similar to an "http:" or" mailto:" link, except it starts with "tel:".) Because not all phone numbers start with "tel:" on the Web, Safari tries to detect them so you can just tap and call, but it needs to be improved. For example, document citations often contain text that Safari wrongly believes is a phone number, such as the text after the comma in this fragment of a review: "No. 4, 541-578 (2009)". My phone thinks this is the number (541) 578-2009.

Futher brokenness is evident when I tap and hold the link: a pop-up menu appears with the option to "Call 541-578 (2009" (with no parenthesis at the end).

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