Yes, you can correct Siri's pronunciation—and that's not all.

By Dan Nosowitz
March 07, 2019

These days, our smartphones make it so much easier to maintain friendships, iron out details for that upcoming vacation, control smart home tech,—heck, they're even becoming portable gyms. Sometimes, though, just knowing how to make the most of your iPhone's actual phone app can be just as useful for day-to-day needs. Here are five super handy ways to efficiently navigate common points of frustration like mispronounced names and dropped calls.

Image courtesy of Getty.

Add a Picture

Apple’s Contacts app does its best to pull in pictures from social media, but sometimes it doesn’t succeed, leaving you with a dull and unpersonalized text of a caller’s name. That’s no way to treat your family and friends! To add a picture, open up your Contacts list within the Phone app—it’s the third tab on the bottom of the screen—search for the contact you want to picture, and tap their name. Then hit “edit,” up in the top right corner. On this screen, in the top left, you’ll see “add photo.” Easy!

Instant Redial

Just lose a call? Or need to call someone back for some other reason? The iPhone has a secret redial system you might not have known about. Open up the Phone app and hit Keypad, in that bottom toolbar—it’s your standard number pad. Hit the big green call button, and your most recently dialed number will automatically pop up. Hit the green button again to make the call.

Add a Nickname

This one is most useful for Siri. You don’t always refer to your contacts by their full name, but instead by a nickname: Mom, Dad, maybe even Nick instead of Nicholas. To add a nickname, head back into that Contacts list, find the contact you want to nickname, and tap their name. Hit that “edit” button in the upper right corner again, then scroll all the way down. In blue text, you’ll see “add field.” Hit that and then select “Nickname.” You can now enter a nickname up at the top of the edit page, right beneath your contact’s given name—and best of all, Siri will now understand when you ask to “call mom.

Politely Decline a Call

Have you ever been on the verge of drifting off to dreamland or in an important meeting when your phone rings? Most people probably know that if you want to quickly stop your phone from ringing, you can press any of three buttons—volume up, volume down, or your sleep/wake button (which is either on the top of your phone or on the side, depending on the model). But there’s another option, too. When you get an incoming call, press your sleep/wake button twice quickly, and it’ll send the call immediately to voicemail. Or, if you’ve got headphones in, press and hold the middle button instead of just pressing it, and the call will head to voicemail.

Fix Siri’s Pronunciation

Siri is smart compared with, say, a refrigerator, but not necessarily great at guessing the pronunciation of names. Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix it, which works...most of the time. When Siri says a name wrong, remember how it’s being mangled. Then say “hey Siri, you’re pronouncing [Siri-mangled name] wrong.” Siri will then ask you how to correctly pronounce it, and you’ll be able to select a few options. It works pretty well, though it may have trouble with some names.


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