iPhone and iPad

10 Things You Can Do While Talking on Your iPhone

Dan Price Updated 02-01-2019

Just because you’re in the middle of a phone call, it doesn’t mean you can’t multi-task and use your device for other purposes at the same time.


If you want to know what you can do on your iPhone while talking, keep reading. We’re going to find out.

1. Start a Second Call

It’s not the 1990s anymore. These days, you can start a simultaneous second call and jump between the two with a tap of the button.

Joking aside, this has practical benefits. For example, you can keep your place in a hold queue, or call a colleague to check specific details during a business call.

To start a second call while talking on your phone, tap on Add Call from the in-call menu. You can either select one of your contacts, or tap the Keypad tab to enter a number manually.


2. Switch to FaceTime

To switch to FaceTime, tap the FaceTime icon on the in-call menu.

If the person you are talking to is a fellow iOS user, you can convert your phone call into a FaceTime call. FaceTime lets you see each other on the screen and introduces additional features such as Memoji How to Create and Use Memoji on Your iPhone iOS 12's Memoji allows you to create an animated emoji version of yourself. Here's how to create and use them on your iPhone. Read More , Live Photos, and incoming call alerts.

3. Make Conference Calls

Surprisingly few people are aware of this trick. Your iPhone offers an easy way to create conference calls for up to five people. To begin, follow the same steps as detailed above for starting a second call (press the Add Call button).

Once the receiving party has accepted your call and you’ve established a connection, the on-screen in-call menu on your iPhone will change and reveal a couple of new options.


Tap on the Merge Call button, and the two phone calls will connect on a single line. To add more participants, repeat the Add Call > Merge Call process.

If one member of the conference call hangs up (including you), the other callers will stay connected.

4. Put the Phone on Speaker

This is an obvious one, but for the sake of completeness, we’ll mention it.

To put your iPhone on speakerphone, tap on the Speaker button on the in-call menu. The call audio will then play through your device’s speakers instead of the earpiece.


5. Browse Your Contacts

We’ve all been there. You’re chatting with someone on the phone when they ask if you’ve got the number of a friend, business contact, or colleague.

It’s easy to search your contact list while you’re in a call on iOS. You don’t even need to return to the home screen first. Instead, there is a dedicated Contacts button on the in-call menu.

Using this method (rather than accessing your contact list through the Add Call button) means you won’t accidentally end up making a second call while you’re searching for information.

6. Respond With Instant SMS


Phones have a habit of ringing at the most inopportune moments. Whether you’re about to start driving or standing up to give a big presentation, there are times when you need to speak to the caller, but you’re unavailable at the precise moment.

One way to acknowledge the caller without getting bogged down in a lengthy chat or instant messaging thread is to send an automatic SMS to the person.

To send a message, tap on the Message button while the phone is ringing. There are three pre-written options: Sorry, I can’t talk right now, I’m on my way, and Can I call you later?. You can also enter a custom message by tapping on the appropriate option.

You can overwrite the three default options by going to Settings > Phone > Respond with Text and entering your desired phrases.

7. Mute the Call

This is another obvious one, but the ability to mute a call is vital. You can use it if you need to chat privately with someone in person while you’re on a call, or if you’re in a conference call and there’s too much distracting background noise.

To mute a call on iOS, tap on the Mute button from the on-screen in-call menu.

8. Set a Call Reminder

There’s a second option available to you while the phone is ringing—you can set a reminder for yourself. It’s another feature that’s useful in situations where you can’t answer and don’t want to forget to return the call later.

Two reminders are available. The first will automatically remind you about the missed call in one hour. The second will trigger a reminder when it detects you have left your present location.

The second is more useful if you’re stuck in conferences and meeting rooms. If you’re driving, cooking, showering, or performing some other short-term task, use the time-based reminder.

For the location reminder to work, you need to ensure that the Reminders app is allowed to access your location. To enable the feature, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and set Reminders to While Using the App.

9. Play a Game

Let’s wrap up with two fun tricks you might not think of. After all, everything on your phone is available if you return to the home screen.

If you have an iPhone 8 or earlier, tap the Home button to return to the iOS home screen. For users of an iPhone X or later, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Now you can entertain yourself while you wait for the hold queue to get smaller or for the other person to stop talking. Just open your favorite game in the usual way, and it will work.

10. Listen to a Video or Podcast

Did you know that your iPhone can play audio from both your call and apps like YouTube simultaneously? The call will not mute while you play other audio.

This means that you can watch a video, listen to music, or play a podcast while also keeping an ear on the conversation. Return to the home screen using the instructions detailed above, then open your app of choice.

More Useful iPhone Tips for You

The in-call options on an iPhone are diverse. They allow you to perform any number of tasks to keep your day moving in the right direction.

If you would like to learn about more cool iPhone tips, check out our lists of essential tricks for Safari and handy tips for using the iPhone keyboard 22 Essential iPhone Keyboard Tips and Tricks Here's a bundle of iPhone keyboard tips and tricks, including how to type faster and customize your keyboard. Read More .

Related topics: Call Management, iPhone Tips, iPhone Tricks, Multitasking.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Alan
    January 2, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    You could of course just hang up on the caller because if you are looking for 11 other things to do then you obviously dont want to talk to them......

  2. Janis
    November 20, 2017 at 1:20 am

    You can also answer a text with a text while talking

  3. Mariana
    September 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you I will have to try these, they are new to me!

  4. raaj jain
    April 2, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hi all their i am new to iphone and i found all above tip very useful thanks for it. Raaj India

  5. Grace
    March 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I think it was really good thanks

  6. Roshan Moraes
    February 19, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Roshan Moraes
    Just now
    I have iPhone and if I have record the conversation when I make call how can that be done Pls let me know if u can send me the hints on my email will be very helpful to me email roshanmoraes @yahoo.com

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 19, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Roshan, sorry I don't understand what you're asking.

      • Lou
        July 14, 2018 at 8:46 pm

        He is asking how to record conversations on phone calls

      • Lou
        July 14, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        He is asking how to record phone conversations on calls.

  7. Roshan Moraes
    February 19, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I have iPhone and if I have record the conversation when I make call how can that be done Pls let me know if u can send me the hints on my email will be very helpful to me email roshanmoraes @yahoo.com

  8. ibehrang
    February 14, 2013 at 7:37 am

    you can play amusic while calling

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Excellent point, ibehrang. Thanks.

  9. Phil Engers
    November 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    The instant reply message to the caller is a great means to stay on the conversation and stil let the other party know that you will be getting back to them without their having to leave a voice mail message.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 21, 2012 at 4:27 am

      Yep, I've used it a few times, and found it very useful.

  10. Jeremiah Iliffe
    October 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Wow, I didn't know any of these. Thanks heaps

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Hey Jeremiah, appreciate the feedback.

  11. Eath Chantrea
    October 23, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Good information!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Eath. Appreciate it.

  12. Anonymous
    October 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I don't have an iphone but lots of these should apply to an android phone as well. Thanks!

  13. Rohail Shah
    October 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm


  14. Lal S.
    October 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Is there a way of voice recording a call so that I may playback the conversation later ??

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 20, 2012 at 3:22 am

      Lal, you might give it a try. Open the voice recording app while on the phone and see what happens. I also think there are a few apps that will record phone calls.

  15. Saeef Alam
    October 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Is not being able to browse the Internet while in a call a limitation of the iPhone itself? Or just a restriction put in place by mobile service providers?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Saeef, you're saying you can't browse the internet during the phone call? I'll try to test that out in my next phone call.

  16. Adrian Rea
    October 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

    There is one app that I would really find useful and it would be a theatre mode. There are many professionals who do need to receive calls even during a performance. But to get up and out to take the call takes more disruption than even if they took the call. I would like to see an app that when in the "theatre Mode" the screen is very dim, vibrate is on and all sound is mute. The user can answer the call and listen normally through the phone but an in ear headphone would be better. there are onscreen buttons that give preset answers to reply to the callers conversation such as "I am unable to talk at the moment but I can hear and respond to what you say", "yes", "no", "I am not sure", "can you email me that", "I will contact you back in x minutes", and so on. At least it could reduce annoyance to others around them. Could be useful on covert surveilance :)

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Hmmm, Adrian, interesting idea. I'm wondering if you could do the same thing manually. Dim and mute your iPhone, and use a pre-written message to respond to phone calls during a theatre performance. Do you think that might work?

  17. Billy Tyler
    October 13, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I still think jailbreaking is the way to go. Only thing it seems you can't do is reply directly from a phone call with a text, and I'm sure there is a tweak for that somewhere...

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Billy, I really need to try a jailbreak at least once. I keep seeing all the advantages, but I keep thinking it might become a hassle to update the iOS or deal with any quirks that may arise because of the jailbreak. But I really should try it.

  18. Edwin Williams
    October 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks! A very informative article! I didn't know most of these cool things!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      Edwin, thanks for your feedback. Glad this article was helpful to you.

  19. Kulwinder Rouri
    October 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    simple and useful info, thanks for this post.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks, Kulwinder, appreciate the feedback.

  20. Dwayne
    October 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I've been on a call and needed to provide directions, put it on sp
    eaker, pull up the maps app, and talk the other person through the directions

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Dwayne, I have to admit it took me a while to realize I could use the iPhone that during a call. But once I figured it out, it saved me a lot of frustration to know you can talk someone and say look up information on the phone at the same time.

  21. Imya Last
    October 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Good to know.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks, Imya, for the feedback.

  22. Ah San
    October 13, 2012 at 6:49 am

    i can show it to my sister ,nice one !!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Ah, my own wife should read this list. She probably uses only a third of the features on her iPhone. Thanks for your feedback.

  23. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 13, 2012 at 6:25 am

    this is great information... thank you.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      You're welcome, Dimal.

  24. Rashelle Puno
    October 13, 2012 at 5:45 am

    nice! ive tried some of this...

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Thanks for feedback, Rashelle.

  25. Macwitty
    October 13, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Thanks for a comprehensive overview
    (I can think about a lot of thing to do AFK when talking - some maybe better with your tips...)

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Macwitty, for your feedback. Glad you find it useful.

  26. Anonymous
    October 13, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Thank you! It's nice to know that my phone can do these.

  27. Anonymous
    October 13, 2012 at 2:16 am
  28. Yudono Ra
    October 13, 2012 at 1:22 am

    i've only known a few of them, thanks for the info

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      You're welcome, Yudono. Glad you found it useful.

      • Jackie meyer
        November 15, 2017 at 12:16 am

        Can I take a picture while on a FaceTime call? Thank you for all the info