Respond to Incoming Phone Calls with Automatic Message Replies on iPhone
The iPhone gained a handy feature that is now standard in iOS which allows you to quickly respond to an incoming phone call with a preset text message. This is a perfect solution if you’re busy in a meeting, classroom, driving, or in any other situation where you can’t take a phone call, but the caller is important enough to let them know they’ll be contacted as soon as possible.
Set Automatic Text Message Replies for Incoming Phone Calls
First things first, let’s set the automatic reply messages. To do so, do the following on the iPhone:
- Open “Settings” and choose “Phone” followed by “Reply with Message”
- Enter customized text replies of your own or follow Apple’s examples, then exit out of Settings when finished
You can have up to three preconfigured messages. You can go with the preconfigured Apple choices, or better yet, customize and make your own that correspond to your communication style. Choosing three general responses is fine, but for those who share an iPhone with personal and work, a helpful option is to have a separate choice for those incoming work and/or personal calls that you may not be able to answer at the moment. Be as specific or as vague as what works for you, but something like “Busy, will call back soon” is fine.
Replying to an Inbound Call with a Text Message
With the automatic replies set, you’ll be able to use the feature the next time a phone call comes in by doing the following:
- Swipe up on the phone indicator to open a call options menu and tap “Reply with Message”
- Select the desired automatic reply to send it as an SMS or iMessage
The appearance of the auto-replies feature looks slightly different in the newest versions of iOS, but the functionality remains entirely the same throughout iOS 6 and iOS 7, both in setting and using the automated canned responses. The only requirement is that you have an iPhone, of course.
For those wondering, this will default to using the iMessage protocol if the caller has iMessage, and will send a general text message if the caller does not. Thanks for the tip Ryan