iOS 7: A quick guide to using iPhone calling features

Making, receiving, blocking and controlling iPhone calls is part of everyday life in the mobile age, in this guide we show you a few iOS 7 call handling features you might not have come across before.

iOS 7: A quick guide to using iPhone calling features


Receiving calls

Calls don't always come at the right time. If you're in a meeting and someone calls, you can…

Silence the call by pressing the Sleep/Wake button or either volume control (you can still answer the call until it goes to voicemail).

Decline the call by:

  • Pressing the Sleep/Wake button twice rapidly
  • Press and hold the center button on your headset for about two seconds -- when you hear two low beeps you'll know it was declined.
  • You can also tap Decline if the iPhone is awake when the call comes in.

Respond with a text:

Tap Message and choose a reply or tap Custom. You can also create your own default replies by visiting Settings>iPhone>Respond with Text, tap any of the default messages and replace them with your own.

Remind yourself to return the call:

Forgetful much? Tap Remind Me and set a reminder, you will be reminded to return the call at a better time.

Taking a second call

You can easily take a second call while in another, just press the Mute button and hold it down for a second and then Answer the incoming call. Alternatively you can ignore the second call by tapping Decline.


There's a lot you can achieve if you use Favorites on your iPhone. To add someone to your Favorites list, tap + or add their names within Contacts. To achieve this navigate to the person concerned and select 'Add to Favorites' at the bottom of the relevant card.

Not so favorites

  • You can block unwanted callers really easily. If you are receiving unwanted calls from a Contact simply tap Block this Caller on their card.
  • You can also block numbers you don't recognize by tapping the 'I' button beside them in your Recents menu, and then tapping Block this Caller.
  • You can also block (or unblock) callers in Settings>Phone>Blocked.

Do not disturb

  • You can easily silence your iPhone using the Do Not Disturb icon (the crescent moon) in Control Center. What you might not know is that you can also schedule quiet periods, allow calls from Favorites and enable emergency calls.
  • You manage your Do Not Disturb options in Settings>Do Not Disturb.
  • Here you can allow calls from Favorites, so important people can always reach you, you can also set the iPhone up to remain silent only when locked.
  • The Repeated Calls toggle switch lets you accept a second call from the same person if made within three minutes. This call will not be silenced, enabling urgent calls to reach you.

Voice Control

Siri is the new Voice Control -- though you can still use the on-phone Voice Control features if you turn Siri off. Otherwise to make a call initiate Siri by pressing and holding the Home button and tell Siri to "Call [named contact]." Siri will then make that call -- you can also assign nicknames to contacts in the 'Edit Fields' section within your Contacts record.  This means you might be able to say: "Siri, call my brother," for example.

Make a Facetime Audio call

New in iOS 7 comes support for free Facetime Audio calls over WiFi and LTE. You can start such a call by pressing the small phone icon situated beside FaceTime in a contact.

I hope there's a few tips here to make your iPhone calls more effective. Please let us know if you have other tips in comments below.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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