Making Phone Calls and Sending SMS with HTML

Posted in Mobile and PHP on Tuesday, the 19th of January, 2010.

Okay, so you can't really make phone calls and send SMS messages using only HTML; that would be silly. However, if you are developing web sites and web applications for mobile handsets, you can take advantage of some features in XHTML Mobile Profile which make it easy for a user to call a number without typing that number in. You can also use the same mechanism to trigger - on the user's handset - an SMS or MMS dialog with the intended recipient's number and the message content prepopulated.

That this can all be done by creating a specially-formatted HTML link on a web page is one of the most convenient, if occasionally misunderstood features of XHTML-MP. This post will tell you everything you need to know in order to take advantage of this feature.


Posted by Terence Eden on Monday, the 15th of February, 2010.

I've been trying to find which is more widely supported - tel or wtai.

I'm not sure if it's an error in your test page or in WURFL, but both my test phones (BB9000, Android 1.5) show no dialling scheme available. Yet I know that both support tel & WTAI.

Is there any definitive information about support for these schemes across a range of handsets?



Posted by Juan Leysner on Tuesday, the 8th of June, 2010.

Is it posible to send me the html file for the test page ?


Posted by Richy C. on Thursday, the 10th of June, 2010.

Interesting, it shows "Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 6.0; U; en) Presto/2.5.24 Version/10.53" as being a Nintendo Wii Browser...

Is there any way of detecting things like a Skype install and appropriately presenting the number then?

Posted by Simon Harris on Thursday, the 10th of June, 2010.

Hi Richy -

Yeah, that's an interesting feature, and is down to an outdated installation of Tera-WURFL. I've a plan to upgrade to version 2.0, which should remedy that, but free time is somewhat scarce.

Not sure how one would go about detecting Skype, or anything else, being installed. If I've understood the question correctly, I think that might imply a bit of a security hole in the user's device or computer.

Juan -

View -> source should do it :) There's a little PHP going on but nothing more than you see in the article.

Posted by Richy C. on Friday, the 11th of June, 2010.

Hi Simon,

I've found which may help detect Skype: but it is client side... If there is a way to detect recognised protocols (such as sip: , skype: , tel: , call:) then this whole job would be easier... If I come across a way, I'll let you know.

Posted by Troy Thomas on Friday, the 9th of December, 2011.

I highly interested in this.

Only i dont want a link that does it i want a page that when you land on it, a script triggers and it loads an sms keyword and number for them to just hit send.

This way you can use Normal URL fields in CMS's like Joomla and when they click the link they are sent to a page that triggers the sms message.

Any ideas on how to make this happen?

Posted by Rens on Monday, the 2nd of January, 2012.

I am looking for the correct syntax to incorporate message texts with the for android devices. Above formats apperantly not compatible ?!

Posted by John T. Sebastian on Saturday, the 7th of July, 2012.

where should i type the Password to obtain MMS

Posted by Eldog on Sunday, the 27th of January, 2013.

Thanks for the information on SMS links, the format I got working on my Android device is

<a href="sms:[PHONE-NUMBER]?body=[MESSAGE]">The SMS link</a>

but of course when I tested it on a Windows Phone 7 it didn't work.


for more on the specifics.

Posted by Nghien Phim on Thursday, the 7th of February, 2013.

Is this helpful on mobile-browser only? On desktop, how can we call or send SMS? The helpful code on desktop should be Skype call.

Posted by Scott on Saturday, the 22nd of June, 2013.

Links to example are broken.

Enter your comment: