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Sunday, February 20, 2011

How do I work with the call log in Touchwiz on my Samsung phone running Android 2.1?

Contributed by John J. Herzog

I am a Samsung epic user. My phone has the Touchwiz UI, and in my opinion, it's pretty accessible with Android 2.1, the only noticeable exception being the call log. This is not the case for the Epic running Android 2.2, which has a number of accessibility issues and which I discuss in another post. Here I describe how to work with the call log in Touchwiz devices running Android 2.1.

In the epic running 2.1, the initial screen of the call log does not speak with either Talkback or Spiel. As you navigate up and down the list of calls, you hear a click each time you move the arrow keys, but nothing is spoken. This is not a show stopper, though, because you can press enter on the keypad to get a list of details that you can navigate through accessibly.

So if I go into the call log and hit the down arrow a couple of times, I don't hear anything. But when I hit enter on a random spot, I find out that I called my dad. Talkback speaks his number, and the phone shows me a list of all the times I have previously called him.

At the top of this Details screen is a set of buttons, which the phone also reads correctly. They are Call, Add to Contacts, Delete, and so on, and I can use the left and right arrows to move from one button to the other.

Below the buttons is the first entry/call--the most recent. The line below that is the call I made several days ago, etc., all the way down the screen from newest at the top to oldest at the bottom.

To get back to the main screen of the Call Log, I press the back button. Once there, I can continue scrolling down the list to other calls, pressing enter every time I want to know whom I called or who called me. I know this is not the most convenient way of doing things, but every other screen on the Epic with 2.1 works better than this one.

You can use the Details screen to delete one or more calls from the same person. Deleting all but the most recent call makes navigating your call log easier. If you don't delete things, you may find yourself returning to the same list of calls over and over as you arrow through the main Call Log screen and press enter on another call to or from the same person. So to save yourself aggravation, review all the times you called a certain number, and delete all calls or any repetitions in one fell swoop.

To delete call entries, open the Details screen, where the calls for a specific person are listed. from here, press Menu. Right-arrow to the Delete button, and press enter. Focus moves to a list of check boxes. Select all the calls you want to delete by arrowing to each check box and pressing enter. At the bottom of the list is a delete button. Press enter on it to get rid of the entries you selected.

Note that, for some strange reason, the select all check box is spoken by Talkback, but it is not clickable. It would be great to just click that and arrow to delete, but that does not appear to be possible.

The information in this post covers working with the call log of the Samsung Epic, a phone running the Touchwiz UI with Android 2.1. This is the only aspect of the phone that is negatively affected by the UI; however, before considering a Touchwiz phone, please read my post on the Epic with Android 2.2.


  1. I want to use pin less calling with registered numbers but i also want to control my bill by viewing and tracking call history online from all registered numbers .

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  3. Many phones do not have good voice quality so the voice over service is best option for them.

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