With iOS 18, iPhone’s dialer will finally get the most basic smartphone feature

  • Apple will introduce T9 dialing to the iPhone dialer with the iOS 18 update.
  • T9 dialing allows users to type a contact’s name using the number pad, instantly suggesting matching contacts.
  • Until now, users have had to type in phone numbers or search for contacts through the Contacts app to make calls.

Apple’s WWDC announcements about iOS 18 mainly revolved around Apple Intelligence and the company’s implementation of AI in its core products. The feature that got me the most excited was that iOS 18 is finally bringing T9 dialing to iPhones. Is this a sign that I’m getting old? Maybe. But am I still thrilled about it? Absolutely.

What is T9 dialing?

T9, short for “Text on 9 keys,” is a predictive text technology that revolutionized typing in the pre-smartphone era. With T9, users could type in English words using a numeric keypad by pressing a single key for each letter (instead of having to multi-tap numbers to register letters), and the software would intelligently predict the word.


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