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How to conference call on Android devices (the old way vs the better way)

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Conference calls are a great way for remote and hybrid teams to keep in touch. (They’re also more reliable than a long email chain or messaging thread, which can be easier to misinterpret and time-consuming because you have to wait for people to reply.)

Good news? There are a number of ways to make conference calls on Android mobile phones and other mobile devices. Providers like Samsung include a conference feature built into their latest models, and you can also use a range of apps such as WhatsApp or Hangouts, which come with convenient messaging options too.

If you’re looking for a way to do conference calls for work though, there are more business-focused apps that are designed to not only make conference calls easy, but also offer a range of work-specific features.

One of these business communications apps? Dialpad, of course.

In this post, we’ll cover two main things:

  • The basics of making conference calls the usual way on an Android phone, and

  • How to make conference calls on an Android phone through the Dialpad app (which gives you a few added perks if these are work calls)

How to conference call on Android

To make a conference call using your Android phone's built-in calling feature, follow these steps:

1. Find the first person you want to include in the call from your contacts.

2. Once you’ve connected, tap “add call.”

3. Select the next person you want to include from your contacts.

4. Tap Merge.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for every additional person.

1. Find the first person you want to include in the call from your contacts

Locate the Phone icon on your device, and tap it to open it up.

Most built-in conference features have a contact-list icon somewhere on your screen. Most calling apps will have something similar. Open up your contact list and find the first person you wish to include in the call.

Once you’ve dialed, that person will receive an incoming call like they normally would.

2. Once you’ve connected, tap “add call”

When your first contact has picked up, tap “Add call” to start turning a one-on-one chat into conference calling goodness.

3. Select the next person you want to include from your contacts

Find the second person you want to invite to the conference from your contacts list.

Press the dial button, and wait for them to answer.

4. Tap Merge

You should now see a Merge calls icon. Once you’ve tapped the Merge button, you’ll have a three-way call in progress.

Now, you can add more contacts to the call!

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for every additional person

Follow steps 3 and 4 to keep the conference party going.

To end the call, just hit the End call icon to hang up like you normally would.

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The disadvantages of Android’s built-in conference call feature

Built-in conference call features can do the job they were designed for, but they do have limitations—especially if you need to make these conference calls for work.

It’s more time-consuming

Setting up a conference call through a built-in feature can be time-consuming and repetitive. For each participant, you’ll need to scour through your contacts, then wait for the call to be connected, then go through the same pleasantries before repeating the process.

Tapping the screen a few times to add someone doesn’t sound terrible, but what if you have conference calls with over 10—or 20—attendees? That’s a lot more time wasted on starting the call.

In contrast, as we’ll see later, using an Android app that’s designed for business use can shorten this process down to a few seconds.

It can cost you a lot more

Using your Android phone’s built-in conference calling feature will also likely mean that your calls are charged at a regular rate. This can vary depending on your conference call service provider and contract.

But making conference calls this way can quickly run your bill up, especially if you have these calls with teammates or clients who are located in other areas of the world

👉 Dialpad tip:

If you have a hybrid or distributed team, then you definitely don’t want to just have conference calls on your Android phone’s built-in calling feature. Even though there is a monthly subscription fee for unified communications platforms and phone systems like Dialpad, you can at least get unlimited calling along with a much more convenient conference calling process.

How to set up a conference call on Android with Dialpad (and avoid those disadvantages)

Okay, so what’s a better alternative to using your Android’s built-in conference call feature?

Dialpad, for example, is designed for businesses and works not only on Android but also on PC, Mac, and iPhone.

You can make HD conference calls from anywhere over the Internet—and if you want to save money on international calling, you can just invite folks to a video conference.

But more on that later. For now, let’s look at how it works.

1. You’ll need a Dialpad account first.

The Android app itself is 100% free, but you do need to be on one of Dialpad’s plans first. They start at $15 monthly on an annual plan, and you get unlimited calling within the US and Canada—which might end up being more cost-effective if you need to make a ton of calls for work:

Dialpad talk pricing plans

Signing up for Dialpad takes literally a few minutes, and you’ll get set up with a business number too during the process.

2. Find Dialpad on the Google Play store

Once you’ve signed up for one of Dialpad’s plans, then like with any Android app, the first step is to find it on the Google Play store. You should see something that looks like this…

Dialpad android app download on google play store

3. Install it!

Just click on the “Install” button to start your download:

Dialpad android app description on google play store

4. Verify your phone number

Once it’s been downloaded, you’ll be asked to verify your phone number.

If you’ve added this to your Profile Settings, we should be able to do this for you.

If you haven’t, just enter your number and tap “Verify”.

We’ll give you a call almost immediately. Answer the call and tap 1 to confirm.

5. Start your first Android conference call

1. Navigate to the “Home” tab in the Dialpad app.

2. Tap the add call icon from your call screen.

3. Select “new call,” which is basically your “add call” button.

4. Select “more,” which will let you add more callers to your conference, all at once.

👉 Dialpad tip:

No matter which way you use, making conference calls using the traditional against-the-ear approach is often inconvenient, and using your phone’s speakerphone isn’t great because it picks up all the background noise. With a reliable pair of wireless headphones for Android devices, you can engage in crystal-clear phone calls without being tethered to your phone. Having a good headset gives you better sound for phone calls without encroaching on your ability to write things down, so they’re well worth the investment.

5. Select “add a caller” to add more people, and you’re done!

How to conference call on iPhone: For those Apple-obsessed team members

Setting up conference or 3-way calls on iPhone the traditional way

1. Either dial the phone number of the first person you want to add to your conference, or call them from your Contacts list.

2. Once you're connected, tap Add call.

3. Now, dial the number of the second person you want to add to your conference, or choose them from your Contacts list.

4. Tap Merge calls.

5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 for each additional person you want to add.

Setting up an iPhone conference call with Dialpad

1. Once you've downloaded the Dialpad iOS app onto your phone, open the app. (Make sure you're connected to the internet over Wi-Fi or your cellular data network.)

2. Go to your keypad or Contacts tab to call the first person you want to add to your conference call.

3. Once you're connected, tap the the button with the three dots (which will show you more options), then tap Add caller.

4. Choose the contact you want to add. That's it!

Why use the Dialpad app to make conference calls instead of just your Android’s (or iPhone’s) built-in calling feature?

Well for one, in Dialpad you can record calls and get real-time transcripts of conversations, which can come in handy if you’re on calls with customers and prospects:

Dialpad ai real time transcription blog size v3

You’ll be able to choose whether your personal number, a carrier-issued number, or your Dialpad number shows up on caller ID for your recipients. That means you can use your personal phone to make work calls without revealing your personal number:

Change Caller ID

And did we mention you can also use Dialpad to make video conference calls (and regular 1-on-1 video calls as well)? Video conferencing comes included for free on the most basic Dialpad plan, and lets you do screen sharing—on mobile devices through an SMS text message—without making the other person download the app to join your meeting!

SMS Meeting Invite in Dialpad single item v4

For sales folks, this is especially useful if you want to show visuals of what you’re selling, but don’t want to inconvenience prospects by making them download the app to join your call or view the screen share.

👉 Dialpad tip:

Learn more about conference call apps, along with FAQs.

Looking for an easier way to make conference calls on Android for work?

With Dialpad, regardless of where you are, you can talk to teammates, prospects, and clients on conference calls from any device at any time.

Just sign up for a plan, download the phone app, and you’re ready to start making conference calls through Dialpad in just a few taps.

With Dialpad’s Android app, attendees can seamlessly join your conference calls without the need for a lengthy dial-in process or downloading anything themselves. It’s the most flexible way you could have a conference call, since everyone can join via landline, Microsoft or Apple desktops, and Android and iOS mobiles.

Try a better way to make business conference calls on Android and iPhone

Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see how you can make phone calls, have video meetings, and send instant + SMS/MMS text messages, all from a single app. Or, take a self-guided interactive tour of the app first!