After making start.me faster than ever, we’ve been working really hard to make it more useful to everyone. This week we’ve added a new feature we call Telephone links. Now you don’t even have to leave your startpage to call your friends, clients or leads. Or you could do the opposite: design and publish a well-indexed website for your business and make it easy for customers to call you. In this article, we explain how it all works.
What are Telephone links?
Simply put: they are click to call hyperlinks you can find on many websites today. Many of these phone numbers will be detected automatically, especially when you’re surfing the web with a mobile device. You just click them, and then the default VOIP or mobile phone app will ask you if you want to make the call.
Confirm this, and there you go. Two clicks and you’re talking to your boss, customer, friend or family member.
Life just got a little bit easier.
How to add Telephone links
The easiest way to add Telephone links is to think of them as a regular bookmark. You already know how to add them (or you’ll find out in our help section).
To add Telephone links is almost just as simple:
- Click the green + next to your icon (top right);
- Type in: tel:+ (country code) (telephone number). No spaces required. For example: tel:+19512623062
- If you use a Windows computer, you may also use an alternative: callto:+ (country code) (telephone number). No spaces required. For example: callto:+19512623062
- Click ‘Bookmark’ telephone number;
- Select the Widget you want to add the number to or choose ‘New widget’.
That’s it! Now you just have to click the number to make the call.
Default telephone app
When you click the Telephone link for the first time, your computer will open the default program for VOIP calling. This will most likely be Skype (Windows) or Facetime (MacOS).
The system will ask which program you’d like to use. Make your choice and make sure to click ‘Always open these types of links in the associated app’ so this message won’t reappear.
If you use a Windows computer and if you decide later on to change the default program, you can always go to Settings > Apps > Default Apps > Choose default apps by protocol. You can choose the default program for the tel-protocol, but also for the callto-protocol. Both comments work within the Windows Operating System.
You can find a bit more background information on the site of Mark Wilson. This information isn’t completely up to date, but it’s still useful.
On the Mac, it’s a bit more challenging to change the default app for opening Telephone links. First of all: MacOS doesn’t support the callto-protocol. Also, the default program for the tel-protocol can’t be accessed directly in the System Preferences pane. There is a workaround, that you’ll find on StackExchange.
We’ve tested it, and it works beautifully.
Of course, there’s a lot more to be said about using Telephone links in your startpage. You can Google for more information, or go directly to CSS-tricks. This article is especially interesting for users with HTML-knowledge.
How to use it
We suppose this new little feature will be useful to everyone with their own personal startpage.
We also see this as a useful feature for anyone working in the field of Customer Service, or even for larger corporations. With this new feature, you can collect phone numbers to the different divisions and important contacts right there in your browser. No more PDF or yearly booklets to update, just one website with all the shared and up to date information you need.
Small business owners could use it to publish their business and contact information. Who knows, it might even generate some much-welcomed traffic and new customers.
So, what do you think? How do you intend to use this feature? We’d love to hear your ideas, and become inspired! Do drop us a line in the comments below.
- Author: Stefan van Dierendonck