The most annoying iPhone change ever (plus a simple workaround)

An iPhone change a while back altered the ability to easily decline an incoming call when your phone is locked. This simple workaround addresses it.

The most annoying iPhone change ever
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Slight changes in how our favorite gadgets work can be quite infuriating. It’s even more infuriating when you realize the change occurred quite a few years ago.

That’s the case with a simple feature on the iPhone. Back in the day, a call would come in, and you could simply select the “decline” option. It works that way on many Android phones. These days, on my iPhone 7 Plus, a call might come when the phone is locked, but I have to wait for it to stop ringing. I finally figured out that I can press the lock button once to turn off the ringer and vibration, but the call keeps on ringing. During that time, I can’t use the phone to text or browse the web.

[ Further reading: 8 useful iPhone tips for busy professionals ]

It’s stupid, because this happens multiple times per day, interrupting my work. What is Apple trying to do, ruin my day? It’s even more infuriating now that I know there’s a simple step to decline calls completely, one that would have worked every single time.

All you have to do is press the unlock button twice. It is the same as declining.

How many other tricks and workarounds are there like this? I’ve heard that one of the advantages of buying an iPhone at an Apple store is that an employee will sometimes mention a few of these tricks and tips during the final sales process. It’s the nature of the web these days that there are a million tips, but finding one or two that actually save time is difficult. It's tough to find the ones that are actually helpful.

Deleting Facebook to save your battery

Here’s another interesting one. I once read about how deleting the Facebook app on your iPhone can double your battery life. It’s crazy that most people don’t know how much power Facebook uses when it constantly checks for updates. (Sadly, this tip isn’t that helpful for me--I use Facebook on my phone all day.) This simple change can lead to a lot of benefit. It made me wonder — what other apps are causing problems?

For me, the double-tap on the lock button has changed a few things in my daily workflow. For starters, the incoming calls are not as annoying. I double-tap and they go away. I’ll typically receive four to five cold calls per day, so it’s more helpful than you might think.

It's what we don't know about tech that can save time that always annoys me.

It also reminded me that there are actual time-savings tips out there that cause problems to go away — increased battery life, easier call management. It’s a new area of focus for me, trying to uncover some new tips and tricks — stay tuned for more on that.

And here’s where you can help. If you have a rock star quality tip that saves time or money, please post it on my Twitter feed so it’s easy to see and track. I’ll collect the best ones and do my best to write a follow-up piece that covers some of the most helpful suggestions.

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