The simplicity of iPhone conference calling.

One thing that seems to get neglected in the many “iPhone features” articles is the phone feature.  So, we are going to cover the simplicity of conference calling.
How to create a conference call:
  • Open the Phone app (by default, this is in your Dock)
  • Pick a contact from your contact list or tap Keypad at the bottom and manually dial your call.
  • From the phone control’s screen (Mute, keypad, speaker, add call, FaceTime, contacts), you can tap add call or contacts.  They will both take you to your contacts list, though the add call button is preferable if you need to manually dial a number.  For this example, we will use the add call button.
  • From here, you can either tap on a contact and subsequently tap on their phone number to make the call.  You can also tap on Keypad to dial your next number.  It is normal to still hear your current call while you’re dialing.  Once you put the number in and press the call button at the bottom (the green phone button), it will put your initial call on hold and ring the next person.
  • When the call answers, the phone’s control screen will be slightly different.  You will have the option to merge calls or swap.  Merging the calls creates the conference.  Swap is the more traditional switching lines and going back and forth between callers, while leaving one on hold.
Once you have merged your calls together, you have created your first conference call.  From there, you can continue to add more callers to the conference by repeating the above steps.
There are a few things you can do within the conference call.  At the top of the screen, it will either show you a partial list of the phone numbers you have connected or it will simply say Conference.  Next to that, you will see a dark blue i in a circle.  If you tap the blue i, you get a few more options, including:
  • Ending individual calls within the conference.  This is so you don’t have to hang up on the entire conference call just to remove one or two people.  You can pick and choose who gets removed.
  • You can also have a private conversation with any one of the people in the conference, leaving the other calls to talk among themselves until you end the private conversation.
Finally, if you’re on a call and you get an incoming call, you have the option to End & Accept, Send to Voicemail, or Hold & Accept.  Choose Hold & Accept to answer the new call and put the current call (conference or singular) on hold.  From there, you can choose Merge and add the incoming call to the conference.

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