Mobility

4 handy iOS 10 Phone app tips and tricks

From saving voicemails to creating custom vibration patterns on a caller-by-caller basis, iOS 10 is chock-full of new features for the Phone app. Don't miss these must-read iOS 10 tips.

ios10phonehero.jpg
Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Ever since its introduction, the iPhone has gone through numerous changes, but one thing that has mostly remained the same is the Phone app. With iOS 10, Apple added new features to this app, including saving voicemail and voicemail transcription. Here are four tips (two of which highlight new features in iOS 10) to help you get the most out of the Phone app in iOS 10.

SEE: Job description: iOS developer (Tech Pro Research)

1: How to save voicemail in iOS 10

Saving your voicemails from your iPhone was a chore before iOS 10—it required the use of a Mac and rather questionable utility apps—but Apple has made this task extremely easy in iOS 10. Follow these steps to save your voicemails.

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Select the Voicemail tab.
  3. Select a voicemail, and then select the Share button that appears beside the voicemail.
  4. Select how you'd like to share the audio file (Figure A).

Figure A

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The voicemail share sheet lets you share to any app that accepts m4a audio files.

Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

With the share sheet, you're able to select compatible apps to share the audio file with, or you can AirDrop the file to another iOS or macOS device for safekeeping, or select Add To iCloud Drive to store it in your iCloud storage.

The output is an m4a audio file that contains the full audio of the voicemail.

2: How to rank voicemail transcriptions in iOS 10

iOS 10 includes a new API for developers; the API allows for speech-to-text transcribing. Apple uses this technology in its apps, and one of the best places it's implemented is in the Voicemail tab of the Phone app.

Whenever you get a new voicemail, iOS 10 goes to work transcribing it behind the scenes—you've probably seen this inside of the voicemail tab. Simply tap a voicemail to display the transcription (Figure B).

Figure B

ios10phonefigurea.jpg

The voicemail transcription appears when tapping on the voicemail in the list.

Cory Bohon / TechRepublic


From time to time, you might notice the voicemail transcription is inaccurate. Apple allows you to rank voicemail transcriptions and help them get better at transcribing different languages and dialects. To do this, tap a voicemail to bring up the transcription, then locate the two blue buttons at the bottom of the transcription—there's a button to tap if it was helpful or not helpful.

3: How to redial numbers with ease in iOS 10

Redialing numbers is easy if the number is for someone in your contacts, or if you haven't cleared the recently called list. Two more ways to redial numbers are:

  • Use Siri and say "Redial the last number."
  • Tap on the green Call button once in the Keypad tab in the Phone app, which will place the last dialed number in the text field at the top of the screen. Tap the button again to place the call.

4: How to set a custom vibration pattern based on caller in iOS 10

Silent mode is what many people use when they're at work, or during other events that require a silent phone, but on silent mode, you cannot tell who is calling if the phone is in your pocket. By setting a custom vibration pattern, you can more easily distinguish between callers without looking at the screen.

To change the vibration pattern for a particular contact, perform the following steps.

  1. Open the Phone app and navigate to the Contacts tab.
  2. Select a contact.
  3. Select the Edit button.
  4. Select Ringtone | Vibration | Create New Vibration.
  5. Tap on the screen to create the vibration pattern.
  6. Tap Save when you're finished recording.

This custom vibration pattern will be used whenever this contact calls your iPhone.

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About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

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