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Despite new technologies, pocket-dialing remains as prevalent as ever

Posted: , by Alan F.

Despite new technologies, pocket-dialing remains as prevalent as ever
It's something that happens to all cell phone owners at one tine or another. You have your handset placed firmly in your pocket and the next thing you know, the phone is activated and a call is placed to one of your contacts, a recently dialed number or a random combination of numbers without your knowledge. Now, this is not the most terrible thing in the world unless you happen to reveal a secret or two that is transmitted by accident to the wrong person. For example, a pair of thieves had just recently ripped off a Target in Madison Wisconsin and while in the getaway car, bragging about where they were going to hide the ill-gotten goods, one of the crooks pocket-dialed 9-1-1 on his handset. The police heard the whole conversation and an arrest was made much easier than it might have been.

Some newer Android models offer In-Pocket detection

Some newer Android models offer In-Pocket detection

Both touchscreen and non-touchscreen phones are at fault and that is despite an option to lock the phone when it goes into your pocket that is a feature on some of the newer Android models. Chicago 9-1-1 operators complain that many of the calls they get from wireless handsets come from a pocket-dialer. There are some ways to make pocket-dialing much harder for your phone to accomplish. On both the Apple iPhone and most Android models, you can lock the screen by pressing the button on top of the device that can put your phone to sleep. Of course, that leaves you just another accidental button press away from making a call.

Besides pocket-dialing, another potentially embarrassing problem is pocket-texting. Of course, the odds that you will send a coherent sentence by accident is astronomical, but sometimes sending someone a message comprised of nonsensical words is just as bad as completing a phone call that was dialed by your butt. You would think that with all of the high tech goodness that today's smartphones offer, the handset manufacturers would have a better solution for this decidedly low-tech problem.

With the New Year coming, it is time for a fresh start. Fess up now and tell us your most embarrassing pocket-dialing or pocket-texting moment by typing it in the comments box below.

source: USAToday

20 Comments
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posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:10 11

1. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Wow... Simple lock button and slide to unlock on screen have rarely if EVER failed me, and I take my phone outta my pocket dozens of times throughout the day. Can't believe this is such a big problem for some people.

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:42

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5279; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I am a bit confused as well. With my Droid X and now the RAZR, when I am finished using the handset I press the Off button briefly and the phone goes into my pocket. The phone is not completely off (I still receive inbound e-mail and texts), but I have never had an instance of pocket-calling. (Dunno)

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:48 1

3. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I do the same thing. Had the X for half a year, never happened. Only had the RAZR for a few days, didn't happen. Been using my Thunderbolt since it was released and has never happened. I think people are either not paying attention, or the sensor that's supposed to activate the lock when you put it in your pocket/purse is not very reliable. I think that's an option on my T-bolt, but I don't trust it and it's really not that much hassle to press the lock button and be SURE that it's locked.

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:54

7. hybris (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Actually I don't think that's an option on the thunderbolt now that I'm looking for it. I was confusing that option with the pocket mode in sound settings, which turns the volume up when it detects phone is in pocket or purse.

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 15:08

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Sometimes it happens depending on so many variables so it's not that easy to reproduce but it's still possible.

How is that razr doing?

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:49 6

4. roscuthiii (Posts: 1716; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


"You can't fix stupid..."

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:52

5. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Ok, what is the chance that your phone can actually unlock, and dial 9-1-1, its exactly 1/729 for dialing 911, and the chances it could unlock itself first, then magically open the Phone app are extremely small. The entire chance that something like that could happen is rediculously tiny.

That story is bulls**t.

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 15:59

11. Hello-dirt (Posts: 100; Member since: 02 May 2010)


My Evo has dialed 911 and my wifes blackberry has dialed my phone multiple times. The Evo has an emergency dial option on the lock screen; therefore, I believe that it could have happened.

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 18:31

13. iShepherd (Posts: 38; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


It's not just the evo, all of my smartphones that I've owned has had that emergency dial option if you use a protected lockscreen. One touch and it calls 911 for you automatically. I don't know if that option is required by law but it does make it pretty easy to accidently dial 911.

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 20:37

19. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 284; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


clever name. :D

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 14:54

6. Dragonshadowstorm (Posts: 8; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


How does a capacitive touchscreen dial a number? The tip of your butt draws current from the screen creating a contact similar to a finger? xD

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 15:06

8. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Well my butt once made a call and ordered with an automated computer it was funny as hell and never happened anymore but is possible you just have to be lucky enough and have a trained butt capable of understanding English: P

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 15:18

10. HTCFreak (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)


I hope this won't be a problem anymore with the ICS face-unlock...

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 16:12 2

12. Hello-dirt (Posts: 100; Member since: 02 May 2010)


Well...if you are "butt ugly", then you might experience a few more back pocket calls. ;-)

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 23:31

14. Stuntman (Posts: 666; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


That hasn't happened to me for years. It used to happen with those old candy bar phones where you can more easily press the wrong button to unlock and dial a number. I cannot see it happening with clam shell or candy bar sliders. I don't know how a clam shell can accidentally flip open in your pocket. Candy bar sliders also cover the keys until you slide the keyboard open. That is not likely to happen accidentally. Now with capacitive, touch-screen phones with slide unlock, it seems to be rather difficult to first press the power/lock button, then activate the capacitive screen to slide to unlock and then another capacitive press to activate the phone and then more capacitive presses to enter a (partial) phone number and then the dial button. It seems to require a lot of things to accidentally dial a number.

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 06:41

15. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


phones nowadays offers a lock feature that if its in the locked state, whatever buttons you hit wont do you nothing and you need a combination of buttons to unlock it. and this is just the most basic type of lock feature that you will see in a basic phone. so in these cases, phones shouldnt be blamed..

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 06:59

16. thebikerboi2 (Posts: 144; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


It takes skill to unlock a locked smartphone in your pocket

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 07:59 1

17. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


takes years or training to unlock a phone with your butt... XD

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 08:52

18. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i cant even tell you the last time i pocket dialed. the combination of "press the button + slide the screen to unlock" makes it nearly impossible. Only idiots that put the phone in their pocket with the screen on are going to pocket dial.

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 20:38

20. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 284; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


how do you accidentally dial 911?

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