iPads and iPhones

Let's Get Talking!

Communication Options

There are many options to connect to friends and loved ones. In this lesson we'll learn:

  1. When to use a call, text, email or video meeting

  2. The basics of how to handle calls, voicemail, texting

  3. Email and facetime best practices

A Variety of Choices

Your device provides many options to communicate with other people. Let's break them down to understand when and why you would choose each option:

Phone Call

A phone call is still the best way to handle an urgent conversation or one that requires immediate interaction. It's also one of the best ways to deal with challenging topics. However, if the other person is not available, leave a voicemail message with your name and phone number and consider using an alternate communication method.


Use a video meeting to visually interact with your friends or loved ones. For the best experience, schedule time in advance to allow people to prepare themselves and their environment. It's a great way to narrow the gap in long-distance relationships.


Sending a text message is a great way to reach out to someone without being too intrusive. Use texting for non-urgent requests, updates or quick questions. You can even carry on a casual interaction if the person happens to be available.


Email is the best option for sending non-urgent important, or detailed information. Email lets your recipient track, organize and find information for easy future reference. It is generally considered a more formal communication method.

How to Choose?

Here's how to decide the best way to communicate:

  • Preference? Does the other person have a communication preference? Choose the option that is the most effective for them.

  • Urgent or Challenging? Call them, or if a face to face is required, arrange a time to have a Facetime or visual meeting.

  • Non-Urgent Casual? Text them.

  • Non-Urgent Important or Detailed? Email them.

Using Your Phone

Use the Phone app on your iPhone to make a phone call. Use the buttons at the bottom of the app to access various phone features. There are several ways to make a call:

  • Choose the Recent button to call back someone that recently called you.

  • Choose the Contact button to call someone from your contact list.

  • Choose the Keypad button to dial a call manually.

Once you've chosen, press the green phone or Call button to place the call. When you're finished, press the red phone or End button to hang up.

If you mark some of your contacts as Favorites, they will also be easy to access from the Favorites button.

Going Hands-Free

Once you're on a call, the screen gives you several in-call options. One of the most valuable features is the Speaker button. When you press the speaker button, the phone works as a speakerphone, letting you use the screen while still engaged in the conversation.

This feature is beneficial for:

  • Talking on the phone hands-free or while you're doing something else, like driving.

  • Using the keypad to select in-call options or when checking your voicemail.

Pressing the speaker button again will turn off the speakerphone for a more private conversation as you bring the phone back to your ear.

Blocking Spam Calls

Unwanted and spam calls continue to be on the rise. You can manage this nuisance by blocking these calls when they occur. Here are the steps:

  1. Access the Phone app

  2. Press the Recent button at the bottom of the app

  3. Locate the unwanted caller on your list

  4. Press the small (i) info button at the right of the caller item

  5. Choose the option to Block this Caller

Your phone will automatically ignore any future calls from this number.

Pay Attention to Voicemail

When you don't answer an incoming phone call, the caller may leave you a message on your voicemail. Voicemail is not stored on your phone but online at your phone service provider.

Your phone will notify you when there is an unread voicemail message. This notification will not go away until you listen to your messages. Here are the steps for doing this:

  1. Have a paper and pen ready to write down the voicemail details.

  2. Press the voicemail button in the phone app if you have visual voicemail, or press and hold the one (1) digit on the keypad to access your voice mailbox.

  3. When the in-call screen appears, press Speaker to go to hands-free mode.

  4. Once the system answers, press the keypad button and choose one (1) to listen to voicemail messages.

  5. After you write down the message, press seven (7) to delete the message.

It's important to deal with voicemail as soon as possible. Someone may be trying to reach you and then leave an important message. If you don't promptly delete your messages, your voice mailbox can fill up and will no longer take any new messages.

Let's Meet

With FaceTime, you can easily connect with other iPhone or iPad users. FaceTime supports text, voice and video interaction with one or more people. It's an excellent way to host a family meeting or share a remote meal time together.

The people you are trying to meet with may not all be Apple product users. In that case, it's essential to know what video App they are using. Options may include Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, or Google Meet. You can find any of these apps in the App Store and install them on your device for free.

Meeting with Groups

FaceTime also lets you conveniently meet with a group of people. There are a variety of ways to join a group, but here are the steps to creating a group of your own:

  1. Open the FaceTime app

  2. Tap the FaceTime button to start a New FaceTime

  3. Enter the contacts you want to include

  4. Tap the FaceTime button when you're ready to make the call

Text Me

The Messages app lets you send text messages to other people. It's a popular way for casual interactions that don't necessarily require immediate attention.

If the Messages App detects that your contact is an Apple product user, it will use the Internet to send the text and any pictures. Otherwise, it will use the traditional phone network to send the message. This feature can cause issues when sending photos by text to a non-Apple user. They will have problems receiving these large messages on their device. So, it's best to share these pictures through a photo-sharing service or send them by email.

The Power of Email

Email is a powerful communication method because the content is managed online on the email provider systems. This arrangement provides advanced features to control spam, organize messages, and quickly find previous emails.

Since all your email is stored online, each of your devices can access exactly the same information. A small amount of your email is synchronized with your device, allowing you to continue working when offline.

Here are some email best practices:

  • Reply All to keep everyone in the conversation.

  • Tastefully add emotion to your messages with emojis

  • Always include a meaningful subject line

  • Don't contribute to email spam!

  • Use search instead of hunt

To keep your inbox under control, use the following logic:

  • If it's junk, delete it.

  • If it's something you need to do, star it until you've taken care of it.

  • If it's reference material, archive it.

  • If it's spam, mark it as spam so the system gets smarter.

Update Contact Info

Contacts are central to all your communication and sharing features. Therefore, it's vital to manage and keep your contact details accurate and updated.

You can easily access your contact information from the Contacts app or the Phone app.

  1. Edit a contact by:

  2. Choosing a contact on the list

  3. Pressing the Edit button

  4. Make any changes

  5. Press the Done button

Also, know where your contacts are stored. Keeping your contact information in an online account avoids data loss if your device is damaged or stolen. Check your Default Account as follows:

  1. Access Settings

  2. Choose the Contacts item

  3. Check the Default Account setting. Store your contacts online with your primary (non-ISP) email provider.