Learn the Basics of the iPhone Phone App


Placing a phone call using the Phone app built into the iPhone is really simple. Tap a few numbers or a name in your address book and you’ll be chatting in just a few seconds. But when you move beyond that very basic task, things are more complex—and more powerful.

Placing a Call

There are two ways to place a call using the phone app:

  1. From the Favorites/Contacts—Open the Phone app and either tap the Favorites or Contacts icons at the bottom of the app. Find the person you want to call and tap their name (if they have more than one phone number in your contacts list, you may need to choose the number you want to call).
  2. From the Keypad—In the Phone app, tap the Keypad icon. Enter the number and tap the green phone icon to start the call.


Tap the Mute button to mute the microphone on your iPhone. This prevents the person you’re talking to from hearing what you say until you tap the button again. Mute is on when the button is highlighted.


Tap the Speaker button to broadcast the call audio through your iPhone’s speaker and hear the call out loud (the button is white when it’s enabled). When you use the Speaker feature, you still talk into the iPhone’s microphone, but you don’t have to hold it right next to your mouth for it to pick up your voice. Tap the Speaker button again to turn it off.


If you need to access the keypad—such as to use a phone tree or enter a phone extension (though there’s a quicker way to dial extensions here)—tap the Keypad button. When you’re done with the Keypad, but not the call, tap Hide at the bottom right. If you prefer to end the call, tap the red phone icon.

Add Conference Calls

One of the best phone features of the iPhone is the ability to host your own conference calls without paying a conference calling service. Because there are so many options for this feature, we cover it fully in another article. Check out ​How to Make Free Conference Calls on iPhone.


FaceTime is Apple’s video chatting technology. It requires you to be connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network and to call someone else who has a FaceTime-compatible device. When those requirements are met, you won’t just be talking, you’ll be seeing each other when you do. If you begin a call and the FaceTime button can be tapped/doesn’t have the question mark on it, you can tap it to begin a video chat.


When you’re on a call, tap the Contacts button to pull up your address book. This lets you look up contact information that you may need to give to the person you’re talking to or initiate a conference call.

Ending Calls

When you’re done with a call, simply tap the red phone button to hang up.