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How to Handle Multiple Calls at Once on an Android Phone

Your Android phone is probably capable of handling more than one call at a time. Most Android phones can put a call on hold, receive a second call, switch back and forth between two calls, and merge them into a conference call.

Putting someone on hold with an Android phone

It’s easy to place a call on hold using your Android phone — as long as your cellular provider hasn’t disabled that feature: Simply touch the Hold button on the Call in Progress screen.

To “unhold” the call, touch the Unhold button that replaces the Hold button.

  • The Hold button features the Pause icon.

  • The Unhold button features the Play icon.

  • Fret not if your phone lacks the Hold button. Rather than hold the call, mute it: Touch the Mute button on the Call in Progress screen. That way, you can sneeze or scream at the wall and the other person will never know.

Receiving a new call when you’re on the phone

You’re on the phone, chatting it up. Suddenly, someone else calls you. What happens next?

Your phone alerts you to the new call. The phone may vibrate or make a sound. Look at the front of the phone to see what’s up with the incoming call.

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You have three options:

  • Answer the call. Touch the green Answer button to answer the incoming call. The call you’re on is placed on hold.

  • Send the call directly to voice mail. Touch the Ignore button. The incoming call is sent directly to voice mail.

  • Do nothing. The call eventually goes into voice mail.

When you choose to answer the call and the call you’re on is placed on hold, you return to the first call when you end the second call. Or you can manage the multiple calls.

Juggling two calls with an Android phone

After you answer a second call, your phone is working with two calls at a time. In this particular situation, you can speak with only one person at a time; juggling two calls isn’t the same thing as participating in a conference call.

There are a few options you can choose from while the phone is handling two calls:

  • Swap / Switch Calls: To switch between callers, touch the Swap button or Switch Calls button that appears on the touchscreen. Every time you touch that button, the conversation moves to the other caller. The current person is then put on hold.

  • Merge Calls: To combine all calls so that everyone is talking with everyone else (three people), touch the Merge Calls button. This button may not be available, or the merge feature may be suppressed by your cellular provider.

  • End Call: To end a call, touch the End Call button, just as you normally do.

After one call ends, the conversation returns to the other caller. You can then proceed to talk — discuss the weather, the local sports team, whatever — until you hang up or another call interrupts you.

  • The number of different calls your phone can handle depends on your carrier. For most of us, it’s only two calls at a time. In that case, a third person who calls you either hears a busy signal or is sent directly into voice mail.

  • If the person on hold hangs up, you may hear a sound or feel the phone vibrate when the call is dropped.

  • Your Android phone may feature a special multicall screen. It lists the calls you’re working on and lets you easily switch between them, mute one, and otherwise control the multiple calls in a visual manner.

  • When you touch the End button using an Android phone on the Verizon network, both calls may appear to have been disconnected. That’s not the case: In a few moments, the call you didn’t disconnect “rings” as though the person is calling you back. No one is calling you back, though: The phone is simply returning you to that ongoing conversation.

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