The core of the iPhone’s phone features is Contacts, the collection of phone numbers, email addresses, and other personal data about anyone you want to talk to. To get the most out of these iPhone features, you will need a complete and up-to-date contact list.
Synchronization. There are several ways to import contacts to iPhone. The simplest is through iTunes, in charge of automatically synchronizing the contacts each time the device is connected to the Mac. The first time the phone is connected, iTunes asks which contacts to import (you can specify groups or a selection of contacts from the Schedule). Syncing is bi-directional, which means that any changes made to a contact on the iPhone will also be updated on the computer and vice versa.
Contacts can also be added directly to the iPhone by tapping on the “+” sign at the top of the Contacts screen. A contact template will appear, similar to the one used in the Mac Address Book, being able to use the screen keyboard to enter the name, number (or multiple numbers), email address (or addresses), and other information such as birthdays, names shorts, charges and annotations.
Search. Searching for a contact works the same as when searching for a song on the iPhone. The contact list shows each contact in alphabetical order. You can use the Settings screen to select how they will be sorted (by last name or first name), as well as the way they will be displayed on the screen (“Jim Dalrymple” or “Dalrymple, Jim”). You can move forward or backward through the list with the corresponding gesture of your finger, or use the alphabet displayed on the screen (along the right margin of the screen) to access the contacts that start with that letter.
Pretty much everything on the iPhone is a tap or two away, and the phone’s features are no different in this regard. Tapping the phone icon at the bottom of the Home screen brings up five buttons: Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Keypad, and Visual Voicemail. We have already seen the contacts, and then we will see the function of the rest of the buttons.
Favorites. This section is a user-defined list of the most frequently used numbers. You can think of it as the iPhone equivalent of the Speed Call feature (although it takes a few more taps to dial a number versus what would be desirable for a Speed Call feature). Tapping on the plus sign on the Favorites screen displays the Contacts screen, so you can search for a contact, click on the name, and then tap on the number corresponding to Home, Mobile, or Work to add it as a favorite to the Favorites screen. (It is possible to add more than one number per contact, although each will appear as a separate Favorite entry.)
You can change the order of your favorites with a simple flick of your finger.
Numbers can be deleted from the favorites list by tapping on the red circle next to the name, and then tapping on the Remove button. When you tap on the right of the name and drag the order in the list of favorites changes.
Recents. All incoming and outgoing calls from the iPhone are collected under this entry, showing them in two different views: All (all) or Missed (missed). The last list shows the person (if it is listed in Contacts) or the phone number that has called, as well as the number of times they have tried to talk to you. (Missed calls also appear in red, visually differentiating them from calls made (in black). By tapping on the name or number, you can call that person.
Keypad. If you don’t have a phone number in your Contacts and you want to make a call, or if you just want to check the feeling of pressing numbers to make a phone call, then you have to press this button to access a numeric keypad. Once the number is dialed, you can press a “+” button followed by the Add New Contact option and save it for future use.
Visual voicemail. Messages can be retrieved on this screen. But this is a different mailbox than the rest of the services that you have been able to use and that require that all messages be listened to in the same order in which they were received. The Apple implementation shows the messages in a list, allowing the messages to be listened to be selected and chosen, as well as their order. Messages not yet heard have a blue dot, making it fairly easy to check which messages have not yet been heard. When the message is tapped, the message playback starts, being able to move the slider to advance or go back through the message. If you want to return the call, you just have to tap on the Call Back button.
Visual mailbox of the iPhone.
A small visual clue of the iPhone lets you know if there is a message waiting by means of a numeric counter that appears on the visual voicemail icon located at the bottom of the phone screen. The number indicates the number of messages that have not yet been played.
When you tap on the phone menu, you access a series of options that allow you to scroll through the contacts to tap on the desired contact and finally tap on the number. You can also tap on a number directly in the Recents, Favorites or Visual Voicemail sections; or use the numeric keypad to directly dial the phone number. When a call is in progress, a number of additional options are also available on the screen.
Incoming calls. When a call is received, the iPhone offers two options: accept or reject. If you tap on the red button (corresponding to the second option), then the iPhone redirects the call directly to voicemail. The green button accepts the call. If the phone is in battery saving mode when the call comes in, then the call can be directly accepted by sliding the lock control.
IPhone includes a ringtones feature, allowing you to assign one of the 25 included tones to incoming calls or to a specific contact. What cannot be done, however, is to use any of the songs that may be stored on the iPhone as a ringtone.
On-screen options. When a phone call is in progress, six menu options appear: Mute, Keypad, Speaker, Add Call, Hold, and Contacts. The first deactivates the microphone, while you can still hear the callers on the other end of the line; Hold puts the caller in standby mode (you will not be able to hear him, and he will not be able to hear you either). Speaker passes the call to the speaker of the phone, and Contacts provides access to the Contacts list.