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How to enable dial-pad autocomplete in Android 4.3

It doesn't make sense that it took so long for Google to add this feature, but it's here now, and here's how to enable it in the latest version of Jelly Bean.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Google first announced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and its short list of user-facing features, one item on the list was dial-pad autocomplete. You know, the feature that's been present for a long time in skinned versions of Android where when you begin dialing a number, the device uses your address book to guess who you are going to call and offers to complete the number for you. Yeah, that feature.

It's baked into Android 4.3, and if you happen to be using a Nexus device with the latest iteration of Jelly Bean, you may be surprised to not see autocomplete show up the first time you dial a number after updating. That's because the feature isn't enabled by default.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

In order to use dial-pad autocomplete you'll need to launch the Phone app, tap the icon for the menu, and select Settings. A few items down you'll see an option for dial-pad autocomplete; check the box next to it and back out to the Phone app.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

This time when you begin dialing a number, or even using the dial pad to spell a name, you'll see three possible matches right above the pad. Tapping on the name will start the call right away, no further action needed on your part.

Pretty neat, eh?