How to use the Phone app on iPhone

If you are new to the iPhone, then the first app you’ll likely come in contact with is the Phone app. You’ll use it to make and answer calls, listen to your voicemail and more. Today we’re going to cover the basics on how to use the phone app on the iPhone.

Use Phone app on iPhone

Customizing Favorites
When you first launch the Phone app, you’ll be greeted by a blank slate of Favorites. It’s not the best introduction to the application, but Apple did this with a sense of purpose. For most users, the Favorites is the easiest way to stay in touch with your friends, family and even work colleagues. If you have an iPhone 4 or greater, you can set a favorite to be either a Voice Call or FaceTime, provided the person on the other end has the ability to answer a FaceTime call.

To add a favorite, tap on the ‘+’ sign at the top right. You’ll be immediately whisked away to a list of your contacts. In iOS 5, Contacts has its very own app, but it also acts like an “app within an app” when using the Phone app. Apologies for the tongue twister. Search your contacts, which iOS will sort based upon your preferences.

Add favorites to iPhone

Tip: To check and or change how iOS sorts your contacts, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar. Scroll down to Contacts. You can set preferences for the following:
Sort Order: Last, First / First, Last
Display Order: First, Last / Last, First
My Info: Let’s your iPhone know which contact is you.

Sort contacts iPhone

Once you’ve located a contact, tap on it. Select the action you’d like once you select it Favorites. Voice call will dial that contact, where as FaceTime will initiate a video chat using FaceTime.

Add iPhone favorite

Repeat this process as often as you’d like to customize your favorites.

The Recents tab offers you a choice of all or missed, when viewing previous calls. If you tap on the name, the iPhone will immediate start dialing that contact. Pressing on the arrow to the right will provide more details for that particular contact. This is handy if you want to text them or any other option instead of calling them back.

Recent calls

As mentioned earlier, this is the Contacts app, nestled in the friendly confines of the Phone app. You’ll have access to any Groups that you create along with all of your contacts.

The good ole’ fashioned keypad. Naturally, you can dial away to call anyone. Note the bottom left hand icon that includes the outline of a person with a ‘+’ sign. If you would like to exchange digits with someone, enter their complete phone number and then select that icon.

Create or add contact on iPhone

You’ll have the option to ‘Create a new contact’, which will bring you back to Contacts to enter all the relevant information. You can also select ‘Add to an existing contact’ and then proceed to select the contact whose information you’d like to append.

Create new contact on iPhone

Visual Voicemail
One of the great features of an iPhone is Visual Voicemail. Select the Voicemail tab to see a listing of your voicemails. If the caller appears in your Contacts, their name will be listed.

Visual Voicemail guide

  • Play Message: Tap on the play icon to playback your voicemail.
  • More information: Tap on the arrow to the right of a voicemail to get more detailed information including the time and day of the call. If the person is in your contacts, you’ll also get all their relevant contact information.
  • Audio scrubbing: You can slide your finger right or left to quickly rewind or fast forward your message.
  • Call Back: Starts dialing immediately.
  • Delete: Deletes your voicemail

Tip: Tap on the ‘Speaker’ button at the top right to enable the speaker output before pressing play. Your voicemail will playback through the speaker on your iPhone.

How to create a custom greeting on your iPhone
By default, the greeting heard by callers when you are not able to get to your iPhone is standard. Tap the Greeting button and select ‘Custom’. The recording screen will appear. Press the ‘Record’ button and ‘Stop’ when you’ve finished. You can press ‘Play’ to playback to see if it is to your liking. If so, press ‘Save’ and you are on your way. If not, keep at it until you’ve nailed the ultimate greeting.

Create custom iPhone greeting

The Phone app on your iPhone is the gateway to communicating with your friends and family. Whether it be voice calls or Facetime, the favorites tab can immediately personalize your iPhone, providing you with a quick access to contacts that use most. Understanding all of the features of how to use the phone app on iPhone is a great first step for getting the most from your new iPhone.

  • Schnitz

    Any idea of I can add pauses and my pass code for my voicemail?

  • Hondamaker

    I believe adding commas will add pauses. Add some commas, then your passcode. See if that works.

  • Roy

    My voicemail activates after three rings how do i change it to seven rings?