How to make a conference call on iPhone

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, most people are looking for easier ways to communicate with family, friends or colleagues, especially those working from home. One of the fastest ways to do this is through conference calls.

A conference call is a session where multiple people simultaneously communicate via voice or video. It’s easy to call a conference on iPhone instead of using a paid conference calling service, which requires you to dial into special phone numbers, remember a long access code, and/or pay for the service .

However, on your iPhone, this service is part of the Phone app, which comes pre-installed on the device, supporting up to five callers, depending on location, device, and service provider. your mobile.

All of this makes it easy to quickly set up a conference call. But how do you set it up in the first place?

How to make a conference call on iPhone

There are three methods you can use to make a conference call on iPhone:

  • Use the Phone app.
  • Group chat via FaceTime.
  • Use the Conference Call application.

Using the Phone app

Phone app on iPhone

With iPhone, you can call 5 people at once without them needing anything other than a phone, whether it’s an Android device, an iPhone or a landline. Here are the steps you need to take to set up conference calls on iPhone. They may vary depending on the iOS version, but you still have free conference calls on your device.

On the iPhone home screen, open Phone app and call the first person in the usual way, and once they pick up the phone, tap More calls on the screen and select the next person you want to add from your phone book or dial their number from the keypad.

Phone app window

After you connect to the second recipient, tap Call merge on the screen to combine all calls into one conference call. You will see that all calls combine on your screen into a single line.

Call merge button in Phone app

Next, tap End to hang up or end a conference call. This will end all calls for everyone involved in one go.

End button

Note: You can add up to five people, including yourself, if you need to make more than one three-way call.

If a call comes in while you’re on the phone with someone else, you can combine both lines to create a whole new conference. To do this, press Hold and accept at the bottom right of the phone screen when the phone starts ringing and hold the first call to open a new line with the person who is calling you.

Hold and Accept Button

Clap Call merge to combine calls into one conference call.

Call merge button in Phone app

Note: You can press Send to Voicemail to reject any other incoming calls if you don’t want to accept them or touch Refuse if your phone contract does not provide voicemail.

Send to Voicemail button in Phone app

However, if you touch End and acceptyou will end the current call and accept the incoming call immediately.

How to manage each person in a conference call on iPhone

You can take people off the conference call individually, or talk to the individuals on the call privately. This is useful when you don’t want to end the call completely for all the participants at once, or if you just want to relay some information regarding one participant.

To do this, tap the blue color ‘I’ at the top right of the screen after merging calls into a conference call.

Blue i button in Phone app

A list of each call participant will appear on your phone screen. If you want to speak privately with a specific participant, press Private. This will open a private line for you and the caller to talk privately, but you can bring them back to the conference call by pressing Unify.

Private button in conference

To remove someone’s name from a conference call without opening a private conversation, tap End.

End button in private chat

You can also manually mute the conference call if you don’t want others to hear you during the call. You can still hear the rest of the participants, but you can unmute yourself to start talking again. This is useful if you need to talk to someone who is not part of the call, but is by your side without interrupting an ongoing conference call.

To do this, press Mute to mute yourself, and when you want to speak, tap the voice again.

Mute button in Phone screen

However, a conference call won’t prevent you from accessing other apps on your iPhone. You can still use them while the call is in session but make sure you press Loudspeaker in the Phone app so you can still hear what other participants are saying during the call.

To do this, press Home (iPhone 8 or later) or swipe up from the bottom of your phone screen to open the Home screen. From there, you can open the apps you want, surf the web, and do other things while talking on the phone.

You can open the Phone app to return a call at any time or tap green bar (iPhone 8 and below) or green bubble in the upper part of your phone screen.

Green bubble at the top of the phone

Note: If you want to record conference calls on your iPhone, you can do this using the Apple Voice Memos app or alternative recording apps for iPhone.

You can also press Call Swap to switch between two calls without both during the conference call.

Swap button in Phone app

What to do if you can’t make conference calls on iPhone

If you can’t add or merge new calls on your iPhone to set up a conference call, here’s what you can do:

  • Check with our mobile service provider if they offer conference calls on your network.
  • Initiate every call yourself to make sure your phone doesn’t mix multiple calls – incoming and outgoing.
  • If More calls button is missing or greyed out, hold the current call and dial a second number using your keypad. From here, press Unify to combine all calls into one conference call.
  • Clap Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options and press Turn on LTE. Next, turn off VoLTE or WIFI call options as these may not work with conference calls. You may or may not see these options depending on your region or your service provider.
  • Use FaceTime to start a group chat with only audio or video if you can’t make conference calls work on your iPhone as long as all participants are using Apple devices.

Is there another method you use for conference calls on your iPhone? Share with us in a comment below.

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