Calls from iPhone (55+ New iPhone Hacks 2019)

Cant make Calls on iPhone How to solve it 2018

Can't make Calls on iPhone How to solve it

The phone call’s enduring appeal comes from a number of factors: it’s immediate, intimate, and efficient. But all this only applies if the iPhone’s calling features are working properly and you know how to get the most out of them. This blog looks at a few common calling concerns and shows you how to fix them or work around them.


Troubleshooting Incoming Calls iPhone


Cant make Calls on iPhone


You Need to Silence an Incoming Call

When a call comes in, there might be times when you can’t answer the phone right away. For example, if you’re in a meeting, you might prefer to leave the room before answering the call to disturb the other meeting participants as little as possible.


Of course, if the phone keeps ringing while you’re making your way to the door, then you’re still disturbing everyone.


Solution: As soon as you hear the incoming call, press the Sleep/Wake button once. This temporarily turns off the ringer, meaning that you still have the standard number of rings to answer, should you decide to. If you don’t answer, your iPhone sends the call to your voicemail.


You Can’t Adjust the Volume of the Ringer Using the Volume Buttons

Rather than silencing an incoming call you might prefer just to turn the volume down a bit. However, when you press the Volume Down button on the side of the device, the ringer stays at the same volume.


Solution: If you can't turn the volume of the ringer up or down using the volume buttons, it means this feature has been disabled. To turn it back on, follow these steps:

  • \1.\   Open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap Sounds.
  • \3.\ Tap the Change with Buttons switch to On


Caution, On the other hand, locking the ringer volume is a good idea because it prevents one of the major iPhone frustrations: missing a call because the ringer volume has been muted accidentally (for example, by your iPhone getting jostled in a purse or pocket).

You Want to Send an Incoming Call Directly to Voicemail You receive a phone call on your iPhone, but you can't answer it right now. However, you also don’t want to disturb your neighbors by letting the phone ring until voicemail kicks in.


Solution: Use any of the following techniques:

  • If the phone isn’t locked, tap the red Decline button on the touchscreen.
  • If you’re using the EarPods, squeeze and hold the center button for two seconds.
  • Press the Sleep/Wake button twice in quick succession.

Whichever method you use, iOS sends the call directly to voicemail. Note, however, that if you change your mind, you won’t be able to answer the call.


You want to Be Able to Answer a Call Using Another Device

It has happened to all of us: you’re in one room when you hear your iPhone ring in another room, and a mad dash ensues to try and answer the call before it goes to voicemail.


It would be nice if that mad dash didn’t have to take place and you could just answer the call using a handy iPad or Mac that’s on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone.


Solution: iOS supports a feature that enables you to answer incoming calls on your other devices, including iPads, iPhones, and even Macs. To ensure this feature is activated and to control which devices you can use to answer calls, follow these steps:


  • \1.\ Open the Settings app and then tap Phone to display the Phone settings.
  • \2.\ Tap Calls on Other Devices. If you don’t see this setting, see the next problem.
  • \3.\ Make sure the Allow Calls on Other Devices switch is set to On
  • \4.\ In the list of devices, tap the switch to On for each device that you want to use to answer calls.


You Can’t Access the Calls on Other Devices Setting



If you want to configure your iPhone to allow calls to appear on another iOS device (iPhone and iPad)s, you might find that the setting doesn’t appear when you tap Phone in the Settings app.


Solution: You must be signed in to both iCloud and FaceTime using the same Apple ID before the Calls on Other Devices setting will appear. Follow these steps to sign in to these services:

  • \1.\   Open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap iCloud.
  • \3.\ If you are not already signed in to iCloud, type your Apple ID email address and password, then tap Sign In.
  • \4.\   Tap Settings to return to the main Settings screen.
  • \5.\   Tap FaceTime to open the FaceTime settings.
  • \6.\   Tap the FaceTime switch to On.
  • \7.\ If you are not signed in, tap Use your Apple ID for FaceTime, type your Apple ID email address and password, then tap Sign In.


You Want to Respond to a Call without Answering It

Earlier in this blog, you learned how to send an unwanted call directly to voicemail. That’s great for calls you want to ignore, but there are plenty of situations where you can’t answer the phone, but you also don’t want to ignore the caller.


For example, if you’re expecting a call but get dragged into a meeting in the meantime, it would be rude to still answer the call when it comes in, but if you just send the call to voicemail your caller might wonder what’s going on.


Similarly, you might be a bit late for an appointment, and on your way there you see a call come in from the person you’re meeting. Again, it might not be convenient to answer the call, but letting voicemail handle it might lead your caller to wonder if you’re going to show up for the meeting.


Solution: iOS offers a feature that gives you an easy way to handle these sticky phone situations. It’s called Respond with Text and it enables you to simultaneously decline a call and send the caller a prefab text message.


That way, you avoid a voice conversation (which, depending on your current situation, might be rude or inconvenient), but you give the caller some feedback. By default, Respond with Text comes with three ready-to-send messages:

Sorry, I can’t talk right now.

I’m on my way.

Can l call you later?


There’s also an option to send a custom message if none of these is quite right. Here’s how to decline an incoming call and send the caller a text message:


\1.\ When the call comes in, tap Message. Your iPhone displays a button for each of the prefab text messages.

\2.\Tap the reply you want to send. If you want to send a different message, tap Custom, type your message, and then tap Send.

The caller sees User Busy in the Phone app and then receives a text message.


Note If you’re not all that fond of the default replies, you can forge your own. Tap Settings, tap Phone, tap Respond with Text and then use the three text boxes to type your own messages.

You Want to Set a Reminder to Return a Phone Call


The Respond with Text feature is a handy trick to have up your iPhone sleeve, but it suffers from the same problem that plagues straight-up declining a call: if you want to talk to that person later, you have to remember to call back.


Solution: You could use the Reminders app to nudge yourself in an hour (or whenever) to make the return call. Fortunately, however, you don’t need to perform that extra step because you can get the Phone app to do it for you.


The Phone app has a feature that lets you decline a call and automatically create a callback reminder. You can set up the reminder to fire in one hour or when you leave your current location.


Here’s how to decline an incoming call and set a callback reminder:

  • \1.\ When the call comes in, tap Remind Me. Your iPhone displays the callback reminder options.
  • \2.\   Tap the type of reminder you want to set:


When I leave. Tap this option to set a location-based reminder that triggers when you leave your current location.

In 1 hour. Tap this option to set a time-based reminder.


Tip If you don’t see the When I leave reminder option, you need to turn on Location Services.

You Only Want to Allow Calls from Certain People

Rather than declining all incoming calls, you might be in a situation where you want to decline all calls except for those from a particular person or group.


Solution: You can do this by activating the Do Not Disturb feature and configuring it to allow calls from only the people you want to talk with.


This part of Do Not Disturb works with groups of people, not individuals. So your first task is to create or configure a group that consists of the people you want to allow to call you. You have two choices:


  • In the Phone app, add each person to the Favorites list. Tap Contacts and then, for each person, tap the contact, tap Add to Favorites, and then tap Call. If the person has multiple numbers, tap the number you want to use as a favorite.


  • Create a Contacts app group for the people you want to allow. Note, however, that the Contacts app doesn’t offer a feature for creating groups. Instead, you need to sign into, open Contacts, and then click the Add (+) button at the bottom of the Groups pane.


With your group set up, follow these steps to configure Do Not Disturb to allow calls only from the group:

  • \1.\   Tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap Do Not Disturb. The Do Not Disturb screen appears.
  • \3.\   Tap the Manual switch to On to activate Do Not Disturb.
  • \4.\ Tap Allow Calls From to open the Allow Calls From the screen
  • \5.\   Either tap Favorites or tap a contact group.


iOS will now allow a call through only if the caller is in the group you chose. When you want to accept all calls again, follow steps 1 to 3 to set the Manual switch to Off and deactivate Do Not Disturb. (Alternatively, if you want to keep the other Do Not Disturb features in place, follow steps 1 to 4 and then tap Everyone.)


You Don’t Want to See Info about Other Calls While You’re on a Call


If you’re already on a call and another one comes in, your iPhone springs into action and displays the person’s name or number, as well as three options: Decline Incoming Call, Answer & Hold Current Call, and Answer & End Current Call.


This is part of the call waiting feature on your iPhone, and it’s great if you’re expecting an important call or if you want to add the caller to a conference call that you’ve set up. (Note that you only see the call waiting for info if you have this feature as part of your cellular plan.)


However, the rest of the time you might just find it annoying and intrusive (and anyone you put on hold or hang up on to take the new call probably finds it rude and insulting).


Solution: You can turn off call waiting by following these steps:

  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings. The Settings app appears.
  • \2.\   Tap Phone. The Phone screen appears.
  • \3.\   Tap Call Waiting. The Call Waiting screen appears.
  • \4.\ Tap the Call Waiting switch to Off. Your iPhone disables call waiting.


You are Receiving Unwelcome Calls

Using your iPhone is a blast until you get your first call from a telemarketer, cold-calling salesperson, or someone similarly annoying. You might also find that you’re getting unwanted calls from an old flame, an old schoolmate, or anyone else you used to know but no longer want to.


One-time calls you can handle, but if you receive unwelcome calls from a person or company regularly, your iPhone becomes a lot less fun.


Solution: iOS offers a call-blocking feature that prevents specified phone numbers from calling you. Follow these steps to block a number that has recently called you:

  • \1.\   Open the Phone app.
  • \2.\   Tap the Recent icon in the menu bar.
  • \3.\ Tap the blue Info button to the right of the phone number or person you want to block.
  • \4.\   Tap Block this Caller. The Phone app asks you to confirm.
  • \5.\   Tap Block Contact.


If the person you want to block isn’t in the Phone app’s Recents list, but they are in your Contacts list, follow these steps to block that person:


  • \1.\   Open the Phone app.
  • \2.\   Tap the Contacts icon in the menu bar.
  • \3.\   Tap the contact you want to block.
  • \4.\   Tap Block this Caller. The Phone app asks you to confirm.
  • \5.\   Tap Block Contact.


Note  To remove a person or number from the blocked list, open Settings, tap Phone, tap Call Blocking and Identification, and then tap Edit. Tap the red Delete icon to the left of the name or number, then tap Delete.

You Prefer to Answer iPhone Calls on Another Number

What do you do about incoming calls if you can’t use your iPhone for a while? For example, if you’re going on a flight, you must either turn off your iPhone or put it in Airplane mode so incoming calls won’t go through.


Similarly, if you have to return your iPhone to Apple for repairs or battery replacement, the phone won’t be available if anyone tries to call you, so everything goes to voicemail.


Solution: For these and other situations where your iPhone can’t accept incoming calls, you can work around the problem by having your calls forwarded to another number, such as your work or home number. Note that the availability of this feature depends on whether your cellular provider supports it.


Here’s how it’s done:

  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings. The Settings app appears.
  • \2.\   Tap Phone. The Phone screen appears.
  • \3.\   Tap Call Forwarding. The Call Forwarding screen appears.
  • \4.\ Tap the Call Forwarding switch to On. Your iPhone displays the Forward To screen.
  • \5.\   Tap the phone number to use for the forwarded calls.


  • \6.\ Tap Back to return to the Call Forwarding screen. shows the Call Forwarding screen set up to forward calls. In the status bar at the top of the screen, note the little Phone icon with an arrow that appears to the left of the time to let you know that call forwarding is on.


Troubleshooting Outgoing Calls


You Want to Make a Call, but You Have Only a Few Minutes Left on Your Plan

If you’re getting low on minutes with your cellular plan, the last thing you want to do is go beyond your time because those extra minutes are usually quite expensive.


Solution: You might still be able to make a call without using up what little time you have left. That’s because iOS supports Wi-Fi calling, which enables you to place a call using a Wi-Fi Internet connection instead of a cellular connection.


Check with your cellular provider to see if it supports Wi-Fi calling. If so, then you should be able to follow these steps to enable Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings. The Settings app appears.
  • \2.\   Tap Phone. The Phone screen appears.
  • \3.\   Tap Wi-Fi Calling. The Wi-Fi Calling screen appears.
  • \4.\ Tap the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone switch to On, as shown in Figure 6-8. iOS asks you to confirm.
  • \5.\   Tap Enable.


You Want to Include Extensions or Menu Options in Phone Numbers

If you’re calling a family member or friend at work, or if you’re phoning a particular department or person in a company, chances are you have to dial an extension after the main number connects.


Similarly, many businesses require you to negotiate a series of menus to get information or connect with a particular employee or section (“Press 1 for Sales; press 2 for Customer Service,” and so on). This normally requires you to display the keyboard, listen for the prompts, enter the numbers, and repeat as necessary, which is inefficient.


Solution: If you know the extension or phone menu sequence, you can program it into the number and have the Phone app do all the hard work for you. The Phone app can do either of the following:


Pause. This option, which is represented by a comma (,) in the phone number, means that the Phone app dials the main number, waits for two seconds, then dials whatever extension or menu value that appears after the comma. You can add multiple commas to the number if you need a longer delay.


Wait. This option, which is represented by a semicolon (;) in the phone number, means that the Phone app dials just the main number and also displays a button labeled Dial “extension,” where the extension is whatever digits appear after the semicolon. When the phone system prompts you to enter the extension, you tap the Dial button.

You can set these up in two ways:


Contacts list. When you’re entering a phone number using the Contacts list, type the full number and then tap the +*# key that appears in the lower left corner of the onscreen keyboard.


This temporarily adds two new keys: pause and wait. Tap pause to add a comma, then tap the extension or menu value, and repeat as needed; tap wait to add a semicolon, and then tap the extension.


Keypad. Using the keypad in the Phone app, type the full number. To add a comma to tell the Phone app to pause, tap and hold the * key until a comma appears, then tap the extension or menu value; to add a semicolon to tell the Phone app to wait, tap and hold the # key until a semicolon appears, then tap the extension.


You Don’t Want to Be Identified When Making a Call

Although people often think that hiding one’s calling identity is a feature only needed by miscreants and others up to no good, there are many legitimate reasons why someone might not want her identity to be revealed when making a call.


Connecting with a crisis hotline, acting as a whistleblower, revealing or seeking sensitive information are all scenarios where privacy is valued, even required.


Solution: You can configure your device not to show your caller ID, assuming that feature is supported by your cellular provider. Here are the steps to follow:

  • \1.\   Open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap Phone.
  • \3.\   Tap Show My Caller ID.
  • \4.\   Tap the Show My Caller ID switch to Off.


Caution  You might have good reasons to hide your caller ID when making a call, but just beware that many people automatically ignore incoming calls that don’t specify the caller’s name.

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You Want to Put a Phone Call on Hold

When you’re on a call, you might want to put the caller on hold while you do something else. That’s a standard phone feature, but the Phone app doesn’t appear to offer it.


Solution: For reasons that remain mysterious, iOS hides this useful feature. To see it, press and hold the mute button. After several seconds, your iPhone replaces this icon with a hold icon and puts the caller on hold. To take the caller off hold, tap that icon.


how to unfreeze your phone


The promise of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is information at your fingertips. But what if mobility challenges make it difficult to control your hands, much less your fingertips?


What if visual challenges make it hard to even see the information? Whether you’ve had to overcome physical disabilities since you were young or you’re discovering new physical limitations almost daily as you get older, that doesn’t mean you have to be shut out of the digital device revolution.


True, the iOS device(iPhone and iPad) can be difficult or impossible to use if you have visual, aural, or physical challenges. But that’s only because the default settings seem to have been chosen to benefit twenty-somethings in perfect health.


The good news is that you don’t have to settle for these defaults. iOS is chock full of useful settings, options, and techniques that can turn any device from being a pain (literally, in some cases) to use, to a pleasure (at least relatively speaking).


In this blog, I take you through various problems related to using an iOS device(iPhone and iPad) while dealing with visual, hearing, and physical limitations, and you learn how to configure iOS to enable you to work around those limitations and get the most out of your device.


Working Around Visual Challenges

Those of you who are no longer spring chickens (or even summer chickens, for that matter) know one thing for certain: the older you get, the worse your eyesight becomes.


Sure, you can ramp up your eyeglass prescription or invest in extra-strength reading glasses, but even that may not be enough when it comes to reading the text and deciphering icons on your iOS device(iPhone and iPad) screen.


And, of course, if your eyesight problems go beyond simple afflictions such as farsightedness or astigmatism, then a change of eyewear isn’t going to help you make sense of what’s happening on your screen.


Whatever the source of your visual challenges, you can’t work with iOS if you can’t see what iOS is trying to show you onscreen. Fortunately, you can put iOS to work, making it easier to see text, icons, and images.


As you learn in this section, iOS offers a number of tools for enlarging screen items, making things easier to see, reducing visual distractions, and even hearing audio translations of what’s on the screen.


You Want to Make Text Easier to Read

If your [20/20] vision is available only in hindsight, you may be asking yourself a simple question: Why does everything on my device screen look so tiny? The icons are miniature, the buttons are minute, and the text is miniscule.


Solution: I’m happy to report that these things are not set in stone (electronically speaking). iOS offers several settings that can enlarge what you see on your screen, or make it clearer. Follow these steps to modify some or all of these settings:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\ Tap Display Accommodations and then tap Reduce White Point to On to make whites less intense.


  • \5.\ Tap Larger Text, then use the slider to set the text size you’d prefer. You can also tap the Larger Accessibility Sizes switch to On to take advantage of apps that support a feature called Dynamic Type, which enables the apps to resize text according to the slider value you set.


  • \6.\ Tap Bold Text to On to render all screen text in an easier-to-see bold font.


Note iOS requires you to restart your device to put the Bold Text setting into effect.


  • \7.\ Tap Button Shapes to On to apply a fill color to all buttons, which make them easier to see and tap.


  • \8.\ Tap Increase Contrast to improve overall screen contrast. Tap Reduce Transparency On to minimize transparency and blur effects; tap Darken Colors on to make non-white colors darker.


  • \9.\ Tap Reduce Motion and then tap the Reduce Motion switch to On to tell iOS to use fewer user interface motion effects, which can make it easier to follow what’s happening onscreen.


  • \10.\ Tap the On/Off Labels switch to On to supplement each On/ Off switch with a 1 that appears when the switch is on, or a 0 that appears when the switch is Off. This is useful if you have trouble distinguishing between the On and Off states of an iOS switch.


You Want a Quick Way to Zoom in on the Screen


You may find that although you can make out most of the items on the screen, the occasional icon orbit of text is just too diminutive to decipher. Some of the settings mentioned in the previous section might help, but they affect all of iOS, which might be overkill.


Solution: You could always grab a nearby magnifying glass to get a closer look at the section you can’t make out, but iOS offers an electronic version of the same thing. It’s called Zoom, and it enables you to see a magnified portion of the screen. Here’s how you enable it:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\   Tap Zoom to display the Zoom screen.
  • \5.\ Tap the Zoom switch to On. iOS adds the Zoom window, within which the underlying screen text and elements are magnified.


Here are some pointers for using the Zoom window:


  • To toggle the Zoom window off and on, double-tap the screen with three fingers.
  • To move the Zoom window, drag the oval handle that appears in the middle of its bottom border.
  • To move the screen within the Zoom window, drag three fingers inside the window.


  • To adjust the magnification, double-tap the screen with three fingers and then drag on the screen with three fingers.
  • To zoom the entire screen instead of just a portion of it, return to the Accessibility settings, tap Zoom, tap Zoom Region, and then tap Full-Screen Zoom.


Note  By default, Zoom automatically magnifies that portion of the screen that has the focus (that is, the portion of the screen with whatever control you’re currently working with). If you find this jarring, you can disable it by displaying the Zoom screen and tapping the Follow Focus switch to Off.


You Want to Hear What’s Shown on the Screen 



If you find that you’re really having trouble making out what’s on the screen, you might prefer to have the screen text read to you.


Solution: iOS comes with an assistive technology called VoiceOver that can help.

VoiceOver’s job is to read aloud whatever text appears in the current screen or dialog. VoiceOver also does many other things, including the following:


  • Tells you the name of the current app, as well as the name of the app’s current screen or dialog.
  • Tells you the name of the control that currently has the focus, the type of control (for example, a switch), and the control’s current state (for example, On).


  • Echoes your most recent keystroke. For example, if you press Delete to delete a character, VoiceOver says "Delete."
  • Tells you the text of the current item, such as a text message. Follow these steps to activate VoiceOver:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\   Tap VoiceOver to display the VoiceOver screen.
  • \5.\ Tap the VoiceOver switch to On. The voiceover describes the current screen, including the alert button that Settings display to ask you to confirm.
  • \6.\   Tap OK twice.


Note  VoiceOver overs an extensive collection of customization settings that enable you to control how verbose VoiceOver is; whether you want to hear sound effects; whether you want to hear characters, words, or both when typing; and more.


You’ll find all these settings on the VoiceOver screen. Note that activating VoiceOver changes how you use the iOS interface as follows:

  • Tap a screen item to select it and have VoiceOver tell you its name and optionally its state or text. iOS places a black border around the item to show you that it’s selected.
  • To run, activate, or choose a screen item that you’ve already selected, double-tap it.
  • To scroll, slide three fingers on the screen.

You Want to Use your iOS device(iPhone and iPad) to Magnify Real-World Items


The Camera app comes with a zoom feature that, by spreading your fingers on the screen, lets you see a magnified version of the current frame. Besides being a useful photography feature, the zoom is handy for getting a closer look at items in the real world, such as tiny text or far-off signs.


Unfortunately, the spread gesture isn’t easy to use if you also have mobility challenges.


Solution: iOS offers a Magnifier tool that automatically launches the Camera app and activates its zoom feature. Here are the steps to follow to enable Magnifier:

  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\   Tap Magnifier to display the Magnifier screen.
  • \5.\   Tap the Magnifier switch to On, With Magnifier activated, you invoke it by triple-pressing the Home button.


Overcoming Physical Challenges

Using your iOS device(iPhone and iPad) may seem at first blush to be more of a mental exercise. After all, you spend lots of time in front of the screen reading things, looking at things, and thinking about things.


However, if you mapped out your device time, you’d almost certainly find that you spend great chunks of time on physical tasks: typing, tapping, double-tapping, and all the gestures –swiping, sliding, pinching, spreading, and so on – that are needed to make your device do your bidding.


This surprisingly physical side of iOS means that if you have physical challenges of your own, you may find it hard to perform certain tasks (and a few may be pretty much impossible).


Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. iOS has quite a few settings and tools that either make using your device less of a burden or that enable you to work around any problems you might encounter.


Double-Clicking the Home Button Doesn’t Display the Multitasking Screen

You switch between apps in iOS by double-clicking the Home button to open the multitasking screen, swiping until the app you want to switch to comes into view, and then tapping the app. Switching between apps is much more difficult if you can’t access the multitasking screen.


Solution: If double-clicking the Home button doesn’t display the multitasking screen, you might be taking too long between each press, so try a faster double-click.


If that’s a persistent problem for you, you can slow down the Home-click speed. Here are the steps to follow:

  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\   Tap Home Button to display the Home Button screen.
  • \5.\ Tap Slow. iOS flashes the Slow option and vibrates the device at the new Home-click speed.
  • \6.\ If you find that speed still causes problems, try using the Slowest speed, instead.


Tip  Once you get your Home button clicking problem solved, you can make your favorite accessibility tool easier to use by configuring iOS to launch it when you triple-click the Home button. Open Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility, and then tap Accessibility Shortcut (it’s at the bottom of the screen).


Tap one of the assistive technologies such as VoiceOver or Zoom — in the list that appears. You can now invoke that tool by triple-clicking Home.

You Find It Difficult to Unlock Your Device Using Touch ID

"Protecting Your Device," that you can use Touch ID to unlock your iOS device(iPhone and iPad) (see "You Want to Unlock Your Device with Your Fingerprint").


In iOS 9 and earlier, you unlocked the device by resting a digit with a saved fingerprint on the Home button. In iOS 10, however, you now have to press the Home button with that finger. You might find that a physical limitation makes it difficult to perform this technique.


Solution: You can tell iOS to allow a finger resting on the Home button to unlock your device. Here are the steps to follow:

  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\ Scroll down and tap Home Button to display the Home Button screen.
  • \5.\   Tap the Rest Finger to Open switch to On


You’re Getting Unwanted Keystrokes When You Type

If you want to enter key multiple times, you can tap the key as many times as you need. However, when you press and hold a key, iOS assumes you want to enter that key multiple times.


iOS first accepts the initial keystroke and then waits briefly (about half a second) to see whether you leave the key held down. If you do, iOS accepts multiple versions of the key until you release it.


These are useful techniques if, say, you’re using the arrow keys to navigate a document or the Backspace key to delete a number of characters. They’re decidedly not useful if you have mobility challenges that cause you to frequently bounce your finger on a key or hold down a key that you meant to press only once.


Solution: If you tend to press keys multiple times or hold keys down too long, the Key Repeat feature lets you filter out the extra characters that appear in these situations. To use this feature, follow these steps to activate and configure it:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\   Tap Keyboard to display the Keyboard screen.
  • \5.\   Tap Key Repeat to display the Key Repeat screen.


  • \6.\ If you don’t want iOS to repeat characters when you press and hold a key, tap the Key Repeat switch to Off. Otherwise, tap this switch to On.


  • \7.\ If Key Repeat is On, use the Key Repeat Interval setting to set the amount of time that iOS waits between repeated keystrokes.


  • \8.\ If Key Repeat is On, use the Delay Until Repeat setting to set the amount of time that iOS waits after the initial keystroke to begin repeating the keystroke.


iOS Sometimes Misinterprets or Does Not Recognize Your Taps


The touchscreen on your iOS device(iPhone and iPad) is a marvel of modern electronics: sensitive, versatile, and powerful. It’s hard to imagine using iOS without it, so perhaps that’s why touchscreen problems are so frustrating.


If you find it difficult to control your hands, or if your dexterity isn’t what it used to be, then you might run up against one or more of the following touchscreen troubles:


  • If you tend to keep your tapping finger on the screen a bit too long, iOS interprets the gesture as a tap-and-hold rather than a simple tap.
  • If you tend to bounce your tapping finger on the screen, iOS interprets the gesture as multiple taps rather than a single tap.
  • If you tend to move your tapping finger along the screen, iOS interprets the gesture as a slide or swipe rather than a tap.


Solution: iOS comes with several so-called touch accommodations that you can activate and adjust as needed to get your taps recognized and/or interpreted correctly. Follow these steps:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\ Tap Touch Accommodations Keys to display the Touch Accommodations screen.


\5.\ If you tend to keep your tapping finger on the screen too long, tap the Hold Duration switch to On, and then use the Seconds setting to specify how long iOS should allow you to hold the screen before it assumes you’re performing a tap-and-hold gesture.


\6.\ If you tend to bounce your tapping finger on the screen, tap the Ignore Repeat switch to On, and then use the Seconds setting to specify how long iOS should wait before it interprets the gesture as multiple taps rather than a single tap.


\7.\   If you tend to move your tapping finger along the screen, tell iOS to interpret the gesture as a tap rather than a slide by tapping one of the following in the Tap Assistance section:


Use Initial Touch Location. Tap this setting to use the position where your tapping finger first touches the screen as the tap location.


Use Final Touch Location. Tap this setting to use the position where your tapping finger stops or leaves the screen as the tap location.


Surmounting Hearing Challenges

If your hearing has deteriorated over the years, or if you have a hearing impairment in one or both ears, detecting device sounds and enjoying music and movies can be a challenge. Fortunately, help is at hand. iOS has a few settings and tools that you can configure to help or work around your hearing issues.


Headphone Sounds Are Unbalanced

Sometimes, hearing troubles in one ear are particularly bad. Adjusting the device volume is problematic in these cases, because turning up the sound enough to hear things in your bad ear can make those sounds too loud in your other ear.


Solution: iOS can help by enabling you to balance the sound in each ear. That is, you can turn up the sound for your bad ear and/or turn down the sound for your good ear. Here are the steps to follow:


  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\ Under the Hearing section, use the slider to adjust the balance between the left and right channels.


You Can’t Hear Alerts

When iOS displays a notification for a text message or an incoming email message, it often displays a banner for a few seconds and plays a sound. If you’re not near your device to see the banner, and if your hearing is impaired, then you might easily miss the alert.


Solution: On your iPhone (this feature isn’t available on another iOS device (iPhone and iPad)s), you can tell iOS to flash the camera’s LED light a few times, which gives you a visual signal that an alert has occurred.

Follow these steps to set this up:

  • \1.\   On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.
  • \2.\   Tap General to display the General screen.
  • \3.\   Tap Accessibility to display the Accessibility screen.
  • \4.\   In the Hearing section, tap LED Flash for Alerts.
  • \5.\ Tap the LED Flash for Alerts switch to On
  • \6.\ If you also want iOS to flash the LED even when you have the Ring/Silent switch set to Silent, tap the Flash on Silent switch to On.


Make and Receive Calls with an iPhone or iPad

In this Blog

  • How to use the calling features you’ll find useful on your iPhone How to manage Favorites, Recents, Contacts, and Voicemail
  • Take advantage of the Handoff features to answer incoming calls to your iPhone from your iPad or Mac


Although your iPhone is capable of handling a wide range of tasks, one of its core purposes is to serve as a feature-packed cell phone. Your iPhone makes and receives voice calls using a cellular network that’s operated by the service provider you selected when the phone was activated.


The Phone app that comes preinstalled on your iPhone offers a vast selection of calling features that make it easy to stay in touch with people.


After you set up and activate your new iPhone with a cellular service provider and choose a calling plan, the iPhone is capable of receiving incoming calls, plus it enables you to make outgoing calls using the Phone app.



Many cellular service providers offer plans that enable you to pay for the iPhone over time and then upgrade to the newest model iPhone each year when it’s released.


Apple offers the iPhone Upgrade Program, which is available from Apple Stores and It involves paying up to 24 monthly installments to purchase an unlocked iPhone outright, or enables you to keep paying monthly installments but receive a brand-new iPhone (every 12 months) when a new model is released.


When you receive a new phone, if it’s before the 24 installments have been paid, the installment plan restarts, or you can pay off the balance for the phone you already have and keep it, but then begin paying installments on the newest iPhone model.


The monthly installment varies, based on which model iPhone you acquire and how much internal storage space it contains. Keep in mind that the monthly installment you pay for the Apple Upgrade Program or your cellular service provider (for the phone) doesn’t include cellular service.


The service is a separate fee, which is based on the plan you select from a compatible cellular service provider.


One benefit to the Apple Upgrade Program is that AppleCare+ is included. To learn more about this program, visit


Choose a wireless service provider that offers the best coverage in your area, the most competitively priced calling plan based on your needs, and the extra features you want or need. When looking at coverage area maps for various service providers, focus on 4G LTE coverage, as opposed to 3G or plain 4G service.


Some wireless service providers, for example, offer better international roaming coverage than others, whereas some are more generous when it comes to monthly wireless data allocation.



Cellular service providers continue to offer incentives to customers to switch to a specific carrier. For example, starting in September 2017, T-Mobile began offering a free Netflix subscription with its unlimited One family plans. Other providers offer deep discounts for signing up multiple family members under a single account.


Keep in mind that the iPhone hardware is sometimes slightly different based on which wireless service provider you choose, so you typically can’t switch providers after you’ve acquired the iPhone (unless it’s an unlocked iPhone or you exchange the iPhone for a model that’s compatible with the new provider).


Using Your iPhone as a Phone

For your iPhone to make or receive calls, it must be turned on and not in Airplane mode. Unless you’re using the Call Over Wi-Fi function (which not all cellular service providers support), a decent cellular service signal, which is displayed in the upper-left corner of the screen in the form of dots, is also a necessity.


The more dots you see (up to five), the stronger the cellular signal (which is based on your proximity to the closest cell towers).



From the Home screen of a compatible iPhone that offers 3D Touch capabilities, press and hold the Phone app icon to reveal a menu that gives you quick access to a handful of useful call-related features, including icons representing your most recently called contacts from the Phone app’s Favorites list.


Managing Incoming Calls

Regardless of what you’re doing on your iPhone, when you receive an incoming call, everything else is put on hold and the Phone app launches automatically, unless the iPhone is turned off, in Airplane mode, or the Do Not Disturb feature is turned on, in which case incoming calls automatically go to voicemail.


To control the volume of the ringer, press the Volume Up or Volume Down buttons on the side of your iPhone; or to turn off the ringer (which causes the phone to vibrate when an incoming call is received), turn on the Mute button on the side of the iPhone.


Avoid Answering and Silence the Ringer

While your iPhone is still ringing, you can silence the ringer and send the incoming call to voicemail after a 5- to 10-second delay, press the Power button or the Volume Up or Volume Down button one time.


To send the incoming call immediately to voicemail, double press the Power button. Alternatively, tap the Decline option displayed on the screen when the phone is not locked at the time the incoming call is received.


To temporarily silence the iPhone’s ringer (when you go into a meeting or you’re watching a movie, for example), switch on the Mute button, which is a small, physical switch located on the side of most iPhone models. When the Mute button is on, your phone vibrates instead of ringing when an incoming call is received.



If you’re an Apple Watch user, cover the watch face with your hand to decline an incoming call.



To customize the Vibrate feature, launch Settings, tap the Sounds & Haptics option, turn on the virtual switch associated with Vibrate On Ring or Vibrate On Silent, and then tap the Ringtone option under the Sounds and Vibration Patterns heading to select a custom vibration pattern when incoming calls are received.


Yet another way to be left alone is to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode. This can be done automatically at certain predetermined times, or manually whenever you want to be left alone. To do this, access Control Center and tap the Do Not Disturb icon. Read more about the Do Not Disturb feature later in this blog.


Answer Incoming Calls

There are several ways to answer an incoming call. If you’re doing something else on your iPhone and it starts to ring, the caller ID for the incoming caller appears, along with a green-and-white Accept button and a red-and-white Decline button.


Tap the Accept button to answer the call. If you tap Decline or wait too long to answer, the call automatically goes to voicemail.


If you’re using your iPhone with EarPods, AirPods, earbuds, or a headset with a built-in microphone, answer an incoming call by pressing the Accept button on the headset.



When you receive an incoming call, displayed above the Decline and Accept buttons (or the Slide to Answer slider on the Lock screen) are two other options labeled Remind Me and Message.


When you tap Message, a menu containing four prewritten text messages, along with a Custom button, is displayed. Tap one of the Message buttons to send that message to the caller via text/instant message. Or tap the Custom button to type a custom message to send to that caller. The incoming call is automatically transferred to voicemail.


To customize the prewritten messages available from the Message option, launch Settings, tap the Phone option and then tap the Respond with Text option.


Displayed on the Respond with Text menu screen are three customizable fields under the heading “Respond With:” Tap one of these fields to replace one of the default messages with your own.


The other option for managing incoming calls is the Remind Me option. When you tap this button, the incoming call is sent to voicemail, but you can quickly set a reminder (and alarm) for yourself to call that person back in one hour, when you leave your current location, or when you get home. For these last two options to function, Locations Services related to the Phone app must be turned on from within Settings.


If the iPhone is in Sleep mode (or on the Lock screen and locked) when an incoming call is received, unlock the phone by swiping your finger from left to right on the Slide to Answer slider, which automatically takes the phone out of Sleep mode, unlocks it, and answers the incoming call.


Of course, if your iPhone has a Touch ID sensor built into the Home button, you’re able to unlock the phone and answer a call simply by placing your finger on the Touch ID sensor. An iPhone X user can simply look at the screen to unlock the phone to answer an incoming call.


Notice that the iPhone’s Lock screen displays the Remind Me and Message icons but does not display an Accept or Decline button. If you’re too busy to answer an incoming call on your iPhone, you can simply let the call go to voicemail by doing nothing.



Answering the phone using an optional Bluetooth headset, such as Apple AirPods, automatically unlocks the phone if it’s in Sleep mode.

After you answer an incoming call, you have a few additional options. You can hold the iPhone up to your ear and start talking, or you can tap the Speaker icon to use your iPhone as a speakerphone.


It’s also possible to use the phone with a wired or Bluetooth (wireless) headset or CarPlay, which offers hands-free operation. The headset option is ideal when you’re driving, plus it offers privacy (versus using the iPhone’s speakerphone option).



If you’re driving, choose a headset that covers only one ear, uses the Speaker option for hands-free operation, or use CarPlay. Refrain from holding the phone up to your ear or covering both ears with a headset. Make sure you’re familiar with state and local laws in your area related to the use of cell phones while driving.


When using a Bluetooth headset, you don’t need to hold the phone up to your ear to carry on a conversation. If you’re using a headset, answer the call by pressing the headset’s answer button when you receive an incoming call. There’s no need to do anything on your iPhone.


Set Up Call Forwarding

Call forwarding allows you to automatically reroute all incoming calls to another phone number, such as your home or office number. To set up call forwarding and turn this function on or off, launch Settings and then tap the Phone option.


Tap the Call Forwarding option, turn on the virtual switch for Call Forwarding, and then manually enter the phone number to which you want to divert all incoming calls.


Customizing Other Phone Options

From the Phone submenu in Settings, your iPhone’s phone number is displayed at the top of the screen. From this menu, you can customize a handful of the Phone app and call-related features.



The options available to you depend on which model iPhone you’re using and which cellular service provider the phone is linked with.

For example, tap the Announce Calls option. This allows Siri to tell you who is calling when a call comes in. From the Announce Calls submenu, choose when you want this feature to be active. Options include Always, Headphones & Car, Headphones Only, or Never.


With the Call Blocking & Identification option, you can manage calls you’ve manually added to your Blocked Calls list. Using the Call Blocking feature is a way to reduce telemarketing calls (or calls from an “ex”).



To manually add a phone number to your iPhone’s Blocked Call list, after you’ve received at least one call from a number you want to block, tap the Recent button in the Phone app. Look for the incoming call’s listing. Tap the Info (i) icon for the call and then scroll down and tap the Block This Caller option.


In the future, calls from this number will be blocked, until you manually remove the phone number from your iPhone’s Blocked list. To do this, launch Settings, tap Phone, tap Call Blocking & Identification, tap Edit (located in the top-right corner of the screen), and then tap the – icon associated with the phone number listing.


Also from Settings, you have the option of enabling the Dial Assist feature, which figures out the dialing prefixes and phone number format that’s necessary to make a call overseas. That makes initiating international phone calls much less confusing.


Tap Show My Caller ID to set whether you want your iPhone’s phone number and/or your name to be displayed when you make calls from your iPhone to other people.


Using the Handoff Feature with Calls

When Handoff is activated, as long as your iPhone is within wireless proximity to your iPad or Mac (typically within 33 feet), it’s possible to use your iPad or Mac to answer a call coming into your iPhone.



All Macs and iOS mobile devices that are set up to work with the Handoff feature must be linked to the same iCloud account and have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on. Keep in mind that some older iPhones and iPads do not support this feature.


Likewise, only Macs purchased in 2012 or later (and running OS X Yosemite, El Capitan, macOS Sierra, or macOS High Sierra) support this feature.



When the Handoff feature is turned on and the iPhone is wirelessly linked with an iPad or Mac, you can initiate calls from that tablet or computer by tapping or clicking a displayed phone number that appears in the Contacts app, Safari, or another compatible app. These calls are initiated using your iPad or Mac, but they’re actually handled by your nearby iPhone’s cellular service connectivity.


To set up this feature, start with your iPhone and launch Settings, tap the General option, and then tap the Handoff option. From the Handoff submenu, turn on the virtual switch that’s associated with the Handoff option. Next, repeat this process on your iPad. (This only needs to be done once per device.)


When the Handoff feature is turned on, your iPhone automatically maintains a wireless link to your iPad and/or Mac. When an incoming call is received, all connected devices ring, Caller ID information is displayed, and you can accept or decline the call from any connected device.


On the iPad or Mac, the tablet or computer acts as a speakerphone by taking advantage of the built-in microphone and speaker(s). You can also pair a Bluetooth wireless headset to your iPad or Mac, or you can connect a corded headset (with built-in microphone) to the tablet or Mac via the headphone jack.



To learn how to manage the Handoff feature on your Mac, visit


Managing the Do Not Disturb Feature

To activate and customize the Do Not Disturb feature, launch Settings and tap the Do Not Disturb option. To later enable or disable this feature, access the Control Center, and tap the crescent moon–shaped icon. 


When turned on, a moon icon is displayed on the iPhone’s or iPad’s status bar (at the very top of the screen), and all calls and alerts are silenced.


You can turn on or off this feature at any time or schedule specific times you want Do Not Disturb to be automatically activated, such as between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays.


From the Do Not Disturb menu in Settings, determine whether certain important callers are allowed to reach you, even when the phone is in Do Not Disturb mode.


Keep in mind that when your iPhone is turned off, all incoming calls are forwarded directly to voicemail, and it is not possible to initiate an outgoing call. Likewise, incoming text messages, FaceTime calls, and other communications from the outside world are not accepted when an iPhone is turned off, in Do Not Disturb mode, or in Airplane mode.


Instead, notifications for these missed messages are displayed in Notification Center (depending on how you set up Notification Center), in their respective apps, and potentially on the Lock screen when you turn on the device or turn off Airplane mode.


Managing Calls in Progress

As soon as you answer an incoming call, the Phone app’s display changes to the Call in Progress screen. This screen contains several command icons, including Mute, Keypad, Speaker/Audio, Add Call, FaceTime, Contacts, and End. The caller’s information and a call timer are displayed at the top of the screen.



When you receive an incoming call, if the caller ID for that caller matches up with a contact entry stored in the Contacts app, that person’s name, which numbers the call is from (Home, Work, Mobile, and so on), and the caller’s photo (if you have a photo of that person linked to the contact) are displayed.


If there’s no match in your Contacts database, the regular Caller ID data is displayed, which can include the person’s name, phone number, and the city and state from which the call is originating. You might also receive calls labeled Private or Unknown.


Here’s a summary of the command icons available to you from the Call in Progress screen during a phone conversation:


Mute—Tap this icon to turn off your iPhone’s microphone. You can still hear what’s being said to you, but the person you’re speaking with cannot hear you. When you’re ready to be heard again, turn off the Mute feature by tapping this icon again.


Keypad—Replace the current Call in Progress screen with the numeric telephone keypad. This is necessary for navigating your way through voicemail trees (for example, when you’re told to press 1 for English, press 2 to speak with an operator, press 3 to track an order, and so on).


Speaker (or Audio)—Tap the Speaker icon to switch from Handset mode (in which you hold the iPhone up to your ear to have a phone conversation) to Speaker mode, which turns your iPhone into a speakerphone.


If you’re using your iPhone with an optional Bluetooth headset (such as AirPods) or CarPlay, a third Headset/AirPods or CarPlay option is displayed.


Add Call (+)—During a conversation with someone, you can initiate a conference call and bring a third party into the conversation by tapping Add Call, as described later in this blog.


FaceTime—If the person to whom you’re talking is also using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and both devices have Internet access, tap the FaceTime icon to switch from a traditional voice call to a real-time video call using the FaceTime app. This is a free service.



In addition to being able to launch FaceTime from the Phone app and switch from a normal call to a video call, you can use the separate FaceTime app to initiate a video or audio-only call from your iPhone (or iPad) that uses an Internet connection. 


Many cellular service providers allow FaceTime calls to be made using a 4G LTE connection, although a Wi-Fi connection typically works better.


Contacts—While you’re conversing on the phone, you can access your Contacts database and look up someone’s information by tapping this option.


End—Tap the large red-and-white End button or press the end call button on your headset, if applicable, to terminate the call.



Your phone conversation can continue while you’re using other apps. To launch another app, press the Home button, and tap the app icon from the Home screen.


To access the app switcher, double press the Home button and then tap an app icon that appears. To access the Control Center, place your finger near the bottom of the screen and swipe up.


When you view the Home screen or use another app while still on the phone, a green-and-white banner at the top of the screen says, “Touch to return to call,” along with a call timer. Tap this green bar to return to the Phone app.


Responding to a Call Waiting Signal While on the Phone

As you’re chatting it up on the phone, if someone else tries to call you will hear a call waiting tone. The caller ID information of the new caller is displayed on the screen, along with several command icons and buttons. These commands are End & Accept, Send to Voicemail, or Hold & Accept.


If you place the first call on hold and answer the new incoming call (by tapping the Hold & Accept icon), you then have the opportunity to merge the two calls and create a conference call or switch between the two calls and speak with each person individually (while the other is on hold).


While engaged in a conference call on your iPhone, the names of the other parties on the call are displayed along the top of the screen, along with an Info icon. Tap the circular “i” icon to the right of this information to reveal a new screen that enables you to manage any of the parties involved with the conference call.


While you’re engaged in a three-way call (with two other parties), you can tap the Add Call option again to add more parties to the conference call. How many parties you can add to a conference call is determined by your cellular service provider.


On the secondary Conference Call Info screen, associated with each name/Caller ID number is an End button and a Private button. Tap End to disconnect that party, or tap Private to speak with that party privately and place the other party (or parties) on hold.


You can then reestablish the conference call by tapping the Back button to return to the previous Conference Call screen, and then tap the Merge Calls icon again.



To turn off the Call Waiting feature, so you’re never disturbed by another incoming caller during a phone conversation, launch Settings, tap Phone, and then tap Call Waiting. Turn off the virtual switch associated with Call Waiting.


Making Calls from Your iPhone

There are several ways to initiate a phone call from your iPhone; however, you typically must first launch the Phone app. Then, do the following:

  • Dial a number manually using the keypad.
  • Access a listing from your Contacts database (from within the Phone app), choose a number, and tap on it to dial that phone number.
  • Use Siri. This can be done anytime, regardless of what app is running on your iPhone.



If you’re using one of the newer iPhone models and the “Hey Siri” feature is active, simply say “Hey Siri, call [name]” or “Hey Siri, call [name] at [location (such as home or work)]” to initiate a call.


  • Redial a number from the Phone app’s Recents call log.
  • Select and dial a phone number from the Phone app’s Favorites list.


  • Dial a number displayed in another compatible app or iOS 11 feature, such as Maps, Messages, Mail, Safari, Contacts, or the Notification Center window. When you tap a displayed phone number, it dials that number and initiates a call using the Phone app.


Manual Dialing

To initiate a call by manually dialing a phone number, launch the Phone app and tap the Keypad option. Enter the desired phone number, one digit at a time, and press the green-and-white Call button to initiate the call.



As you’re manually entering a phone number, if you want to create a Contacts entry for it, tap the Add Number option, which is directly below the number you’ve entered, and then tap Create New Contact or Add to Existing Contact.



You can also use the Cut, Copy, and Paste features of iOS 11 to copy a phone number displayed in another app, and then paste it into the phone number field on the Keypad screen.


Or, if you tap a phone number displayed in the Contacts app, listed in an email message, or displayed in a web page while you’re using Safari, the Phone app automatically launches and a call to that number is initiated.


Dialing from a Contacts Entry

In the Phone app, you can look up any phone number stored in the Contacts app. Tap the Contacts icon at the bottom of the Phone app screen. When you tap a phone number in a Contacts entry, a call is initiated.


To look up the number for a business, restaurant, tourist attraction, or service, launch the Maps app and type the name of the business you’re looking for (along with its city and state) in the Search for a Place or Address field.


Tap on the appropriate search result, and then scroll down to the phone number list. Tap the phone number or the Call button to launch the Phone app and initiate a call. (This also works with the optional Yelp! the app, as well as other phone directory and business database apps.)


Using the Call Over Wi-Fi Calling Feature

Typically, when you initiate a call from your iPhone, it connects to the cellular network you're subscribed to, such as AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, or T-Mobile (if you’re in the United States).


Thanks to the Call Over Wi-Fi feature, if you’re not in a good cellular network coverage area, but your compatible iPhone is within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can still make a call to any landline or another cellphone via the Internet.


Once you initiate a Wi-Fi call, if you leave the Wi-Fi hotspot, your call is automatically transferred to the cellular network’s Voice Over LTE feature, if your cellular service supports this option.


Likewise, if you’re using the Voice Over LTE feature and a Wi-Fi signal becomes available, the call is seamlessly transferred to the Wi-Fi network.


If a Wi-Fi network is available, manually initiate calls using the Call Over Wi-Fi feature (rather than over a cellular network) by launching Settings, tapping the Phone option, and then turning the virtual switch associated with the Wi-Fi Calling option.



From either an iPhone or iPad, you can also make and receive Internet-based Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone calls using Skype or a similar app. These calls can be made to or received from any landline or cell phone. You can participate in Skype-to-Skype calls for free. For other calls, Skype charges a very low per-minute rate (typically $0.02 or less per minute).


In addition to VoIP calls, Skype can be used for free video calls with Mac, PC, iOS mobile device, Android mobile device, or Windows mobile device users. Using FaceTime for video or audio-only calls, however, works only with other Mac or iOS mobile device users.


Skype is also ideal for saving money when you’re making international calls from the United States, or to avoid hefty international roaming charges when you’re calling home to the United States when traveling overseas.


Yet another Internet calling option is to use the audio calling feature offered by Facebook Messenger to initiate calls with your Facebook friends.


Managing Your Voicemail

Your unique iPhone phone number comes with voicemail, which enables people to leave you messages if you’re not able to speak with them when they call. Just as with any voicemail service, you can record your outgoing message, playback missed messages from your iPhone, or call your iPhone’s voicemail service and listen to your calls from another phone.


Using the Voicemail Transcription feature, you’re able to read text-based versions of your incoming voicemail messages that your iPhone creates for you. This feature works automatically.


Recording Your Outgoing Message

To record your outgoing voicemail message, which is what people hear when they call your iPhone and you don’t answer, follow these steps. Alternatively, you can have a computer-generated voice instruct callers to leave a message.


1. Launch the Phone app from the Home screen.


2. Tap the Voicemail icon, displayed in the lower-right corner of the screen.


3. In the upper-left corner of the Voicemail screen, tap the Greeting option.


4. From the Greeting screen, tap the Default option to skip recording a message and have a computer voice use a generic message. Alternatively, tap the Custom option to record your own outgoing voicemail message and continue to step 5.


5. Tap the Record option that’s also displayed on the Greeting screen. Hold the phone up to your mouth and begin recording your message.


6. When you’re finished recording, tap the Stop option. You can play back your message by tapping the Play option or tap the Save option to save your message and activate it.


Playing and Deleting Voicemail Messages

It’s possible to listen to audio voicemail messages either from your iPhone or by calling your iPhone’s voicemail from another phone.


Listening to Voicemail From Your iPhone

From your iPhone, follow these steps to listen to and then save or delete an incoming voicemail message:


1. Launch the Phone app from the Home screen, or by swiping a voicemail notification appearing on the Notification Center screen.


2. Tap the Voicemail icon displayed in the bottom-right corner of the screen.


3. Under the Voicemail heading at the top of the screen is a listing of missed voicemail messages. Tap a message to highlight it.



When you see a blue dot to the left of a voicemail message listing, this indicates it’s a new, unheard message. After you listen to the message, the blue dot disappears. When you tap the message to listen to it, the blue dot changes to a Pause/Play icon.


4. After a message is highlighted, tap the small Play/Pause icon. The message begins playing. It might, however, take a few seconds for the message to load. Expect a brief pause before the message begins.


5. Displayed immediately below the message’s Caller ID information is a transcription of the message. It appears a minute or two after the message is recorded by the caller.


6. Near the bottom of the voicemail listing is a slider that depicts the length of the message, along with Speaker/Audio, Call Back, and Delete options. As your message plays, the timer slider moves to the right. You can listen to parts of the message again by moving this slider around with your finger.



Associated with each incoming voicemail message is a Share icon and an Info icon. Tap the Share icon to access a variety of options for sharing or exporting the voicemail message.


Tap the Info icon to reveal information about the caller and, among other things, view options that enable you to call back that person or create a new contact for him/her in the Contacts app. It’s also possible to keep the caller from reaching you in the future by tapping the Block This Caller option.


7. When you’re finished listening to the message, either leave the listing alone (which keeps the message saved on your phone) or tap the Delete option to erase it. You also have the option of calling back the person who left the message by tapping the Call Back option.


8. To exit the voicemail options, tap any of the other command icons displayed at the bottom of the Phone app’s screen, or press the Home button on your iPhone.



You might find it easier to listen to your voicemail messages via speakerphone, by first tapping the Speaker/Audio option that’s displayed below the time slider.



If you accidentally delete an important voicemail, don’t panic. From the voicemail screen, scroll to the very bottom of your voicemail message list and tap the Deleted Messages icon. Tap a message to highlight it, and then tap the Undelete icon.


Using the Message Transcription Feature

Thanks to automatic voicemail message transcription, when a caller leaves a voicemail message, the iPhone automatically transcribes that message (typically within a minute or two) and offers both text and audio versions of the message.


To access this feature, launch the Phone app and tap the Voicemail icon. Tap a listing for a new voicemail message. In addition to the familiar Play/Pause icon, as well as a slider for fast forwarding and rewinding through the audio message, you see a text transcription of the voicemail message.


Tap the Share icon to forward the message to yourself or other people using any of the options offered by the Share menu, such as text message or email. You also can export the voicemail message transcript into a compatible app, such as Notes.


Like the Dictation feature, the voicemail transcription feature often has trouble accurately interpreting words if the person speaking is in a noisy area or doesn’t speak clearly.


Consequently, this feature does not always provide 100-percent accurate voicemail transcript, especially for longer messages, but it does offer a readable version of the message that you can quickly review.


Creating and Using a Favorites List

The Phone app allows you to maintain a Favorites list, which is a customized list of your most frequently dialed contacts. To access this list, launch the Phone app, and then tap the Favorites icon.


To add a contact to the Favorites list, tap the + icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Select any listing from your Contacts database, and tap it. When the complete listing for that entry appears, tap the specific phone number you want to be listed in your Favorites list. The newly created Favorites listing appears at the end of your Favorites list.



Each Favorites entry can have one name and one phone number associated with it, so if a Contact entry has multiple phone numbers listed, choose one. If you want quick access to someone’s home, work, and mobile numbers from your Favorites list, create three separate entries for that person.


When you create the entry in Favorites, the type of phone number (Home, Work, Mobile, iPhone, and so on) is displayed to the right of the person’s name.


A Favorites listing can also relate to someone’s FaceTime identifier (their iPhone number, Apple ID, or the email address they used to set up their FaceTime account). To edit the contacts already listed in your Favorites list, tap the Edit option in the upper-left corner of the screen.



As you’re viewing your Favorites list, tap the Info (“i”) icon, shown to the right of each listing. This enables you to view that person’s entire entry from within your Contacts database. 

To dial a phone number listed in your Favorites list, simply tap its listing. The Phone app automatically dials the number and initiates a call.


Accessing Your Recent Call Log

The Phone app automatically keeps track of all incoming and outgoing calls. To access this detailed call log, launch the Phone app, and then tap the Recents icon at the bottom of the screen.


At the top of the Recent screen are two command tabs, labeled All and Missed, along with an Edit option. Tap the All tab to view a detailed listing of all incoming and outgoing calls, displayed in reverse-chronological order.


Missed incoming calls are displayed in red. Tap the Missed tab to see a listing of calls you didn’t answer. Tap the Edit option to delete specific calls from this listing, or tap the Info (“i”) icon to view more details about that caller, including their recent call history with you.



Missed calls are also displayed in the Notification Center window on your iPhone or as an icon badge or alert on your Home screen, depending on how you set up Notifications for the Phone app in the Settings app.


To customize the Notifications options for the Phone app, launch Settings and tap the Notifications option. Then tap the Phone option. You can adjust how your iPhone alerts you to missed calls by personalizing the options on this Phone screen.


Each listing in the Recent call log displays the name of the person you spoke with (based on data from your Contacts database or the Caller ID feature) or their phone number.


If it’s someone from your Contacts database, information about which phone number (home, work, mobile, or such) the caller used appears below the name.


If the same person called you, or you called that person, multiple times in a row, a number in parentheses indicates how many calls were made to or from that person. This is displayed to the right of the name or phone number.


On the right side of the screen, with each Recent listing, is the time/date the call was made or received. To view the Contacts entry related to that person, tap the Info icon associated with the listing.


At the top of a contact’s entry screen are details about the call itself, including its time and date, whether it was an incoming or outgoing call and its duration.

To call someone back who is listed in the Recent list, tap anywhere on that listing except for on the Info icon.


Customizing Ringtones

Thanks to the iTunes Store, you’re able to purchase and download optional ringtones for your iPhone. Use one ringtone as your generic ringtone for all incoming calls, or you can assign specific ringtones to individual people.



iOS 11 comes with more than two dozen preinstalled ringtones. To shop for ringtones, launch Settings, tap Sounds & Haptics, and then tap the Ringtone option. Tap the Tone Store option and then tap Tones to access the Ringtones section of the iTunes Store. (An Internet connection is required.)


When you purchase and download a new ringtone, it becomes available on your iPhone’s internal ringtones list. Ringtones from the iTunes Store cost either $0.99 or $1.29 each. Before you purchase a ringtone, you can preview it by tapping the ringtone’s listing and then tapping its name.


Using a specialized app, such as Ringtones - Unlimited Ringtones Maker, Ringtone Maker, or Ringtones for Me, it’s also possible to create your own ringtones using music or audio from your iTunes library.


To choose a default ringtone for all your incoming calls, launch Settings and select the Sounds & Haptics option. Scroll down to the Ringtone option and tap it. A complete listing of ringtones stored on your iPhone is displayed. Select the one you want to hear when you receive calls.


Picking Custom Ringtones for Specific Contacts

To assign a custom ringtone to a specific contact so that you hear it when that person calls your iPhone, follow these steps:


1. Launch the Contacts app.


2. Using the Search field or by scrolling through your listing of entries, find the specific contact with whom you want to link a custom ringtone.


3. When the contact is selected and you’re looking at that Contacts entry, tap the Edit option in the upper-right corner of the screen.


4.From the Info screen that displays that contact entry’s data, scroll down to the Ringtone field and tap it.


5. When the Ringtone screen appears, select a specific ringtone from the list that you want to assign to the contact and tap it. You can choose a specific song (purchased from iTunes) or ringer sound that reminds you of that person.


6. Tap the Done icon to save your selection and return to the contact’s Info screen.


7. When that contact calls you, you will hear the ringtone you just linked to that contact (as opposed to the default ringtone).



Also from a Contact’s entry screen in the Contacts app, it’s possible to choose a special vibration pattern for the phone when that person calls.


To do this, tap the Vibration option and choose a vibration pattern from the Vibration menu, or scroll to the bottom of this screen and tap the Create New Vibration option to create a custom vibration pattern for that contact.


More Info

Many states have outlawed using a cell phone while driving unless you have a wireless headset or hands-free (CarPlay) feature on your phone. Although the speakerphone feature of your iPhone counts as a hands-free feature, to ensure the best possible call quality while you’re driving, invest in a wireless Bluetooth headset.


Using a headset enables you to keep your hands free while you’re talking so you can easily access other apps or iPhone features during a phone conversation.


Bluetooth wireless headsets are priced as low as $20 but can cost as much as $200. If you want to ensure the highest-quality phone conversations possible so that people can hear you and you can hear them even.


If there’s background noise present, invest in a good-quality Bluetooth wireless headset that includes a noise-canceling microphone and a good-quality speaker. Plus, choose a headset that’s comfortable to wear and that has a long battery life.


Apple’s popular wireless AirPods work as stereo headphones when you place one AirPod in each ear. However, using just one AirPod (in one ear), it can be used as a wireless headset with the Phone app.


To learn more about this optional $159.00 accessory, visit, or visit any Apple Store or authorized Apple dealer.


What’s New

Built into iOS 11 is a new Emergency SOS feature. After you turn on the feature, when you rapidly press the Sleep/Wake button on your iPhone five times, your iPhone automatically calls one or more Emergency Contacts that you’ve established.


To set up this feature, launch Settings and tap the Emergency SOS option. Turn on the virtual switch associated with the Auto Call option. Tap Edit Emergency Contacts in Health to select whom the iPhone should call in an emergency.