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How to customise text replies to phone calls

For those moments when you can’t take a call, use quick reply messages to let the caller know you’re going to respond

Thanks to the power of the iPhone we are all more reachable in more ways than ever before. Of course plenty of us still favour an old-fashioned phone call, but there are times when you just don’t have the free time to pick up that call from your friend, colleague or other half.


For moments such as this there is a feature built in to iOS that enables you to decline a call with a quick text message reply. This can be used to explain why you didn’t answer, or let them know that you’ll call them back as soon as you get the chance. The beauty of these messages is not only can you create up to three to use that suit you personally, but as they are pre-formatted you can send them in a couple of taps, saving you the time of having to write them out. Here’s how to get them set up.

Step-by-step: Customise text responses


1 Settings

The key components of this tutorial are found in the Settings app. Scroll down the main screen and select the Phone option. This presents all the call-related settings that you can tweak.


2 Respond with Text

Beneath your phone number and the Contact Photos in Favorites option is a sub-heading labelled Calls. The top choice here is Respond with Text, and this is the item you’re looking for.


3 Three templates

Tap Respond with Text and you are presented with three main quick response options. You can tap on any of them and alter them as you see fit, and they will automatically update.


4 Getting a call

With your message set up, you’re now ready for the next time you get a call. When your iPhone does ring, look out for the Message button that appears above the Accept icon, then tap it.


5 Choose your reply

When you do this, your list of custom messages appears from the bottom of the screen. Choose one of them and it will instantly be sent to the caller as a text or iMessage.


6 Custom

If your pre-saved messages aren’t appropriate, tap the Custom option to open your Messages app. Now you can type out a quick personal message as a reply.



In-depth: Text reply to phone calls

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