Every now and then I have to sigh when using Android and wished they would have at least implemented telephony features half as intelligent as Symbian did in its days. But gone is gone and I have to make the best out of it. Activation of call forwarding is one such thing I kept sighing about because changing settings requires to go down several menu levels and waiting a couple of seconds for the device to read the current status from the HLR. But now I've found an interesting fix for that: USSD codes.
Yes, this 1990's technology to use special command codes in a dial string to interact with the HLR in the network in a standardized way speeds up a 2013 Android device. And here's how it works: As it's usually the same numbers I want to forward my calls to when my device is not reachable one can extend the entry of a person in the contacts by the phone number embedded in the USSD code to perform the desired call forwarding activation / deactivation procedure. The figure on the left shows how this is done for 'call forwarding when not reachable'.
The string starting with the '*' activates call forwarding when not reachable to this number and the entry with '#' at the beginning deactivates it again. Not shown in the image is the '#' sign that follows the phone number. Using the code is then as simple as selecting the entry in the address book and to 'dial' it. There's even feedback that the action has been performed.