Things You Can Do on the iPhone X While on a Call

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

You can do lots of things while talking on an iPhone, such as consulting your calendar, taking notes, or checking the weather. Swipe up from the bottom of the display to get to the apps that let you perform these tasks.

Here are other things you can do while on a call:

  • Mute a call: From the main call screen, tap Mute. Now you need not mutter under your breath when the caller ticks you off. Tap Mute again to unmute the sound.
  • Tap Contacts to display the Contacts list: This option is useful if you want to look up a friend’s number while you’re talking to another pal or you want to add someone to a conference call.
  • Place a call on hold: Touch and hold down the aforementioned Mute icon. Tap Mute again to take the person off hold. You might put a caller on hold to answer another incoming call or to make a second call yourself.
  • Tap Keypad to bring back the keypad: This feature is useful if you have to type touchtones to access another voicemail system or respond to an automated menu system. Tap Hide to return to the main call screen.
  • Use the speakerphone: Tap Speaker to listen to a call through the iPhone’s internal speakers without having to hold the device up to your mouth. If you’ve paired the iPhone with a Bluetooth device, the control is labeled Audio instead. Tap Audio and then tap Speaker (if you want the speakerphone), iPhone (if you want to hold up the phone to your ear), or the name of the Bluetooth device. A check mark appears next to your selection.
  • Make a conference call: Read on.

Juggling calls on the iPhone X

You can field a new call when you’re already talking to somebody. Or ignore the call (by tapping Ignore).

To take the new call while keeping the first caller on hold, tap Hold & Accept. Tap End & Accept to take the new call and dismiss the current call. You can also tap Send to Voicemail to keep the status quo. You can then toggle between calls (placing one or the other on hold) by tapping either the Swap icon or the first call at the top of the screen.

Making conference calls

Now suppose caller number one and caller number two know each other. Or you’d like to play matchmaker so they get to know each other. Tap Merge Calls (the button appears automatically when you’ve added a second caller) so that all three of you can chitchat. At first, the phone number of each caller will scroll at the top of your screen like a rolling ticker. A few seconds later, the ticker is replaced by the names of the callers.

Now assume you have to talk to your entire sales team at once. It’s time to initiate a full-blown conference call, which effectively takes this merge call idea to its extreme. You can merge up to five calls at a time. In fact, creating such a conference call on the iPhone may be simpler than getting the same five people in a physical room at the same time.

Start by making a call and then placing the caller on hold. Tap Add Call to make another call, and then tap Merge Calls to bring everyone together. Repeat this exercise to add the other calls.

Other conference call tidbits:

  • If you want to drop a call from a conference, tap the circled i next to the word Conference, and then tap the red End button next to the caller you want to drop to make that caller go bye-bye.
  • You can speak privately with one of the callers in a conference. Tap the circled i, and then tap Private next to the caller with whom you want to go hush-hush. Tap Merge Calls to bring the caller back into the conference so everyone can hear him or her.
  • You can add a new incoming caller to an existing conference call by tapping Hold & Accept followed by Merge Calls.

Handing off calls on the iPhone X

Apple, not unlike its rivals in the tech community, wants you to buy into its own ecosystem for hardware and software. So it isn’t a surprise that iOS for the iPhone and iPad makes nice with recent versions of OS X Yosemite, OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra, and macOS High Sierra, Apple’s latest operating system for the Mac. Now you can use an iPad or a Mac to make or answer a call that originated from or was received on an iPhone.

The only caveat is that the devices must all be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If you’re sitting in front of a Mac or an iPad, you’ll see the name, phone number, and profile picture of a person calling your iPhone. From the Mac or iPad, click (or swipe) the notification of the call to answer or reject the call.

To make a call from your Mac or iPad, click or tap a phone number in the Contacts, Calendar, or Safari app. No other setup is required. It is as simple as that. On the X, make sure the Handoff switch is turned on in Settings. Go to General → Handoff.