It happens to me all of the time. Someone calls me when I can’t answer the phone for some reason. It’s not that I don’t want to talk. It’s that I can’t talk. Maybe I am interviewing someone, or maybe I’m at a show and the music is too loud. Auto-reply is my savior for situations like that. I can quickly send a text message that will let my friends and family know that I am unable to answer their call, but am able to respond through text.
You can customize up to three different auto-reply messages at a time. Whether you are in a meeting, out to dinner, or in a no cell phone zone, you can let your caller know that you can’t talk at the moment.
We’ve got a basic how-to tutorial for those new iPhone users that haven’t yet figured out that they can send a customized auto-reply. For that matter, this tutorial is for users that didn’t even know there was an auto-reply feature.
First off, let me explain to our readers who are new to the iPhone how to use auto-reply. When someone calls you, take a quick look at the screen. You will see three buttons: Slide to Answer, Remind Me, and a Message icon. Tap on the Message icon to see the auto-reply feature. There are three default messages that you can choose from. If you don’t like the ones Apple gave you, customize your message by following these simple instructions.
How to set an auto-reply for phone calls on iPhone
Step 1: On your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Respond with Text.
Step 2: You will see 3 pre-formatted quick responses. These are the default ones offered by Apple. Tap on one of the default messages.
Step 3: Type in your own message. Repeat for all three.
Step 4: Tap the “Phone” button at the top left of the screen to save the new messages.
I like customizing my auto-reply to say funny things, like “Can’t talk right now… I’m meditating,” or “Can’t talk right now… I’m practicing fire-breathing.” Of course, you should have at least one appropriate auto-reply message in case your mom or boss calls.
Using auto-reply when you receive a call
When you receive a phone call, simply tap on the Message icon showed on your Lock screen (see the screenshot at the top). Doing so will display your custom replies (or Apple’s default ones if you haven’t set them up yet). When you tap on one of the pre-filled replies, the person calling you will immediately receive a text message, without any further interaction from you.
Auto-reply for text messages?
Note that at this time, it is impossible to set automatic replies for text messages. We will update this post accordingly should Apple ever add this option.