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Help understanding phone number recognition feature in 10.22 (Is it buggy or user error?)

Stacey Harmon


Both my customers and myself are having issues getting the phone number recognition feature that was released in 10.22 to work as we expect. We're not sure if it is user error, or a bug. 

Here is what we're experiencing.

On Mac desktop, when I type a number in the editor formatted as a phone number, either:

  • xxx-xxx-xxxx
  • (xxx) xxx-xxxx

It isn't converting it to a phone number link. It works more reliably on mobile, though not 100% in my experience.

I've had users on Windows report the same issue to me. It doesn't work on desktop, but it works on mobile.

Is this a known bug, or is there some user training that can be provided to get the feature to work?

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Add to this observation how international numbers are treated, having a different format in each country, often different again between landline and mobile networks, and then the landlines different again between large cities and small places.

Plus the results of scanning of business cards - the phone number is one of the few fields it tries to extract. "Tries to" pretty much describes the result.

IMHO it would be easier to allow the user to select a number, and define it to be a phone number, similar to a link.

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For business cards I use another app.

They do it pretty good - but only if you choose the right country first. This not only for Phone numbers - for other elements as well. UK for example uses alphanumeric as ZIP codes. Hard for an app to know this, if not preselected.

After international events I sorted the cards in country stacks, and scanned each country as a block. This made it work.

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I confess that I hadn't realised this feature was supposed to be present. But neither would I use if ot expect it to work.

In the UK phone number formats are so varied it would be unreasonable to expect that they might be recognised automatically.

My home number is 01535 6xxxx6 but I might just as easily write it as 015356xxxx6 or even 6xxxx6.  All would work from home. The 01535 area code would be needed away from home. A few areas have area codes in the form 015647 89012

My mobile number is officially 07973 2xxxx6 but I typically write it 0797 32x xxx6 and sometimes without the spaces.

Some area codes start 02x So a number is London could be 020 7345 6789 but many will write it 0207 345 6789 and you can generally just dial 7345 6789 from anywhere in London. Other cities have area code 011x and their official format is similar to 0113 456 7890 but could appear as 456 7890 locally.

We never use - or ( ) when typing numbers except that some folk will if they happen to like to do that.  About the only consistent thing is that a full direct dial number will always start with 0 and will be followed by 11 digits mixed with a variety of spaces.

I don't think I'd expect Evernote to work on that for every potential combination of numbers worldwide - in fact if they're trying to do it I suggest that they are making a rod for their own back.

That said, my mobile phone does pretty well working that all out but I do have to tell it which country the number is in for it to do the clever formatting stuff.

I'm wondering if I have to have an application on the computer assigned to call numbers. Or setup a connection to my mobile phone to make the call. Otherwise what would the link link to? The phone numbers I tried don't lnik to anything inside Evernote on desktop for me. As expected they do link to a number on my mobile phone. After all that's the device upon which I can reliably make calls.

I predict that this is a feature available on mobile devices only.

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In Germany even the length of the numbers vary.

Prefixes (always starting with a 0) may be 3 digits 030=Berlin, but may have 4 for mid sized cities or 5 for small ones as well. When dialing in international, skip the leading 0. You can dial using the international prefix (+49) even from the national network on mobile, but you can’t when on a landline.

Individual numbers in a local prefix might be only 4 digits (small town, old numbers), but can have at the same place 7 digits as well (everybody booking with a new phone provider, for example). Even mobile numbers vary in length, the older ones being 1 digit shorter than the newer ones.

And then there are the companies and other large organizations with dial-trough networks. External number 2, 3, 4 or more digits, followed by 2, 3, 4 or more for the individual / desk number. Even there the length may vary, often the virtual fax numbers (routing faxes to the mail inbox) are the individuals / desk phone number with a leading 2-digit-code.

OK now guys at EN, let’s start coding this chaos - I could do with 99.9% recognition, thank you 😂

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