[Android] How To Use TextNow As Your Native Dialer

One of our most requested features, TextNow is happy to announce that you can now opt-into using your native dialer with TextNow! You'll now be able to use your device's built-in dialer (i.e. the green phone icon), or the TextNow dialer, whichever you choose.

Here's a quick run-down of how to turn it on, along with what changes you'll see between using the native and TextNow dialers. Note that this applies to devices with Android Marshmallow (6.0) and above on the CDMA network.

As we rollout this new feature over the course of the next week or so, you should see this message pop up on your TextNow device. Tap Accept to continue. (You can also tap Later to set this up later, or Learn More for a link to this article.)


After tapping Accept, you'll see this next screen asking you to tap OK to allow TextNow to use the native dialer. (If you chose to set TextNow as your default later, you can get to this setting in your TextNow app under Settings > Calling > Default Calling App.)




Once you select OK, you'll see that the Default Calling App is now set to use TextNow. 




Once you set the default to use TextNow, you will receive our best dialer and calling experience to date with a highly-integrated dialing experience between VOIP and the cellular network. You can disable this feature from the Default Apps menu in in your main Android Settings app anytime.

Once you’re in the Native Dialer experiment and you're on a cellular phone call, you’ll see the TextNow screen with Cellular connection at the top of your call. This means that TextNow is now able to give you the best dialer and calling integration to date.


You should be aware of some key differences between using the native dialer and the TextNow dialer during PSTN calls. (PSTN refers to the cell phone voice network. Calls over data (i.e. wifi or 3G/4G) are VoIP calls (voice over IP)) 

Some important differences to remember between PSTN and VoIP:

  • Calls cannot be placed on hold on PSTN. (For example, you cannot complete a conference call on PSTN, as it would involve placing your call on hold in order to conference in a third party.)
  • You can, however, receive another call while on the line with your current call (i.e. call waiting).
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