Posted in How To by Vlad on May 18, 2017
Did you know that you can use your iPhone to engage in a call that has multiple participants. This is called a conference call and is a conversation that is very easy to set up. Group calling is useful whenever you have important business decisions to take, or more common when you want to reunite your family that is spread out across many thousands of miles. This iOS feature also helps you to save time, compared to passing the same info privately to each participant.
Depending on what type of cellular network you’re on you can dial conference calls for up to 6 participants (including yourself) if your iPhone is running on GSM. If your SIM card is belonging to a CDMA type of network you’re not too lucky. This offers you the chance to add only 2 extra participants to a group call, reaching a total of 3 participants including the dialer. Read on to find out how to make conference calls from your iPhone.
How To Setup A Conference Call
1. Initial Call: Determine the participants of the group call and make sure that they’re saved as iOS Contacts or you have their numbers nearby. Call one of them, the same way as you dial any carrier call on your iPhone. Inform the first call participant about your intentions and let him know that you’re going to add the rest of the participants.
2. Add Call: On the ongoing call screen available on your iPhone, you can find the “add call” icon, on the second row, towards the left. Tap it, select the second participant from Contacts, or simply add his number via the keypad and call.
Fact: While you add new callers, initial participants are placed on hold. Make them aware and ask them to be patient.
3. Merge Calls: When the second call is picked up a “merge calls” button becomes available on the iPhone’s screen. Tap it and a 3-person conference call is created. The names of the two callers are listed at the top of the phone, in case they’re saved as Contacts on your iOS device.
4. Repeat: If you’re on a GSM network you can repeat Steps 2 and 3 to other participants. CDMA users will have to settle with small three caller groupings.
How To Remove Participant
In case of long business calls, there might come a point when one or more participants have to leave the conference. You can easily drop them from the discussions without ending the group call.
1. Tap the “i” icon available next to the Contact’s name, to reveal additional conference options.
2. Tap the red “End” label to remove the participant from the chat.
Tip: Of course, that its polite and recommended to always inform a participant about your upcoming actions, before you drop him out of the discussion.
How To Have A Private Word
During business calls you might want to have a private word with one of the participants from the conference. Yes, you have the option to send a message. However, if the info is too extensive and you need immediate clarification, your best option is to engage in a temporary private call with the other caller.
1. Tap the “i” icon that’s available on the right side of a contact’s name, within the conference call.
2. Press the Private label and have your word.
3. Tap Merge Calls to return to the conference.
Fact: The rest of the participants will be placed on-hold while you’re activating the Private option.
How To Mute Yourself
At some point during a conference call you might need to talk with someone that’s physically next to you, and don’t want to share the discussion through the speaker with the conference call members. The same goes if an ambulance or any other vehicle with siren, or source of loud noise passes next to you. It’s recommended to briefly opt out in order not to disturb the rest of the callers. In these cases you can temporary mute yourself. This way you can still hear what’s discussed in the group call, but the participants won’t hear you.
1. Tap the Mute icon available on your iPhone’s ongoing call menu.
2. To resume call press the same button once again.
How To Take Incoming Calls
When you’re in a conference call your iPhone treats it as any other regular conversation. This means that it will notify you regarding any other incoming calls. When this happens you’re prompted with three options:
– Send to Voicemail: redirects the caller to your voicemail and asks him to leave a message.
– Hold & Accept: allows you to add the incoming call to your existing conference, by tapping Merge Calls immediately after.
– End & Accept: Tapping this button will kill your conference call and accept the incoming call. Stay away from it.
Fact: While a new call is incoming, the conference call continues to unfold. You’ll just hear a short beep-sound that makes you aware about the additional caller. If you choose Send to Voicemail other participants won’t even notice it. Hold & Accept will briefly put the conference on hold until you add the new participant, while it’s quite much clear what the End & Accept option will do to your group call.
How To Block Other Calls
If the conference call is really important and you don’t expect new members and also don’t want any distractions you can choose to block any incoming calls while your in the group call. This is achieved with the help of the Do Not Disturb feature.
1. Slide up from the bottom of your iPhone’s screen to bring up the Control Center.
2. Tap the half-moon icon located between the Bluetooth and the Lock-Rotation options.
3. Next, open Settings from the Home screen and browse to Do Not Disturb -> Allow Calls From menu. Select “No One” and you’ll have a disturbance-free conversation. Incoming calls will be diverted to Voicemail and you’ll be notified about them as soon as you exit the Do Not Disturb status.
Tip: There’s also the option to choose “Favorites” if you want to allow some contact to be able to reach you.