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Web page to telephone calls / links using an iPhone

Would you like people who visit your web site from their iPhone you be able to just click on your number and call you? Well - they can; the iPhone Safari browser recognized phone numbers and turns them into telephone links. But you might want a bit more control as the web site author ...

• To add a link that phones you, where the link is NOT a phone number, you can use a link of the form:
  <a href="tel:+44-1225-708225">

• To suppress a link from a phone number, I have found that putting a start and end span tag in the middle does the trick:
  0800 0<span></span>43 8225

• To link to a different number that the one shown on your page, simply add your own link around the number:
  <a href="tel:+44-1225-708225">01225 708225</a>
This is potentially open to abuse (eg. offer a freephone number but link to a similar number that costs), but my example is a sensible one as it lets me display my number as expected by my UK customers, but then converts it so that the link will work internationally (worldwide) if someone follows it from overseas.

The tel: protocol isn't supported by all browsers, though, and if you want to avoid offering links that do strange things when selected on your computer (as opposed to your phone), you'll need to recognise the browser and only provide the links where it's appropriate.

Here's a simple example of how you might to this (in PHP):

• Recongise if the phone is an iPhone:
  <?php $iphone = preg_match("/iPhone/",$_SERVER[HTTP_USER_AGENT]); ?>

• And if it is an iPhone, send an extra link:
  <?php if ($iphone) print ('<a href="tel:+44-1225-708225">'); ?>
then add in the link content such as an image, then:
  <?php if ($iphone) print ("</a>"); ?>

Do you have Flash in your web page? And do you want your application to work well on the iPhone? The default iPhone browser does not support Flash ... there are various ways to get an iPhone to render Flash ... but rather than put your potential customer to the trouble, why not use the PHP above and send out an alternative?

I like to provide a "try it here" page with all my Blogs, but it this case I don't think I will - Lisa would be really happy with me if she got a lot of "just testing" phone calls ... however, on the Well House Consultants home page and on the Well House Manor Home page, clicking on the big text than announces our name will offer you a call to us. Please use it if you would like to book a weekend away, or a course ;-)

If you're not familiar with PHP, have a look at our courses - we offer a variety of curricula, depending on your background and on what you want to be able to do with the language.

(written 2010-03-08)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G913 - Well House Consultants - Hardware and Devices
  [4134] Setting up your MacBook Air as a mobile broadband router - (2013-07-07)
  [3596] Want to learn iPad and iPhone programming? Come along and learn with me for free. - (2012-01-28)
  [3457] Away to train - but still around by video for Melksham meetings - (2011-09-25)
  [3075] Change of balance, of attitude, and of work method - (2010-11-30)
  [3058] MacBook Air - hardware and system review - (2010-11-17)
  [2188] Camera to record where a picture was taken - (2009-05-18)
  [2055] Effect on server when memory runs out and swapping starts - (2009-02-26)
  [2033] Huawei D100 Wireless Router - Mobile Internet - (2009-02-10)
  [1993] Load Balancing - Hardware or Software? - (2009-01-15)
  [1827] What a shock - (2008-10-08)
  [1281] Latercomer to the technology - (2007-07-29)
  [630] Hostnames spring forward - (2006-03-02)

H306 - PHP - Who is your visitor?
  [3946] Moving from a warning system to a control system - PHP, forum spammers - (2012-12-07)
  [3094] Setting your user_agent in PHP - telling back servers who you are - (2010-12-18)
  [2380] Object Oriented programming - a practical design example - (2009-08-27)
  [2343] World Flags in your PHP pages - (2009-08-10)
  [2135] What features does this visitors browser support? (PHP) - (2009-04-22)
  [1736] Current visitors from around the world - PHP - (2008-08-04)

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Melksham - Carnival, Party in the Park, and Spot the Oddity
Pointers to Pointers to Pointers - what is the point?
Efficient use of dynamic memory - C and realloc
Is it worth it?
Web page to telephone calls / links using an iPhone
Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development
Early Spring walk in Melksham
Oliver Cromwell at Bristol Temple Meads
Improve your PHP on a weekend away
Is Melksham public transport actually used?
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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