A long-requested feature coming with iOS 14 is a new, compact iPhone calling interface that doesn’t support the whole screen. Here’s how it works and the different ways you can use it.
Until iOS 14, the iPhone offered full-screen control over incoming calls. This meant that with calls you want to mute (instead of decline), you have to wait for the call to stop ringing before resuming what you were doing.
The new compact call interface for iPhone is a banner-style alert at the top of your screen that lets you easily drop calls with a swipe, answer a call and keep doing what you were doing, or extend the user interface to full screen for the dial pad / audio options / mute / etc. in the Phone app or in third-party apps.
Note: iOS 14 is available as a free public beta as well as a developer beta. Learn more here on how to install them. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to run beta software on a primary device as performance issues, bugs, and the like are resolved.
- Compact call interface is the default on iPhone with iOS 14 (also iPad)
- You can answer or decline a call from the compact alert at the top of your screen with the green / red buttons
- After answering, you can use your iPhone as you normally would without having to exit the Phone app (tap the green phone icon in the top left corner to go to the Phone app or another third-party app)
- Swipe up to mute the call without refusing it
- You will see the call icon in the upper left corner of your screen if you change your mind
- Tap or swipe down on the compact call interface to make it full screen (to get audio output options, number pad, etc.)
- When your iPhone is locked (screen off), you will see the full screen alert for phone and video calls
Answer calls with the compact iPhone call interface
After you answer a call with the compact banner alert, it will disappear automatically after a few moments or you can slide your finger up to make it disappear immediately (while still continuing your call).
Tap the call icon in the upper left corner to access the Phone app.
To go directly to the full screen interface for audio and video calls, swipe down or tap on the compact banner:
Mute and reduce calls with the compact iPhone call interface
To decline a call, just press the red button. But if you want to be more discreet (don’t send the caller directly to voicemail), you can swipe up on the compact call user interface.
You’ll see the gray phone icon move to the top left corner of your iPhone if you change your mind and want to respond.
You can still click a volume button on your iPhone to mute calls, but the compact call banner will remain on your screen.
You can revert to “Full Screen” alerts for audio and video calls in Settings> FaceTime or Settings> Phone if for some reason you don’t want to use the new compact user interface.
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