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Pogue’s Basics: Have your iPhone announce your calls

David Pogue
Tech Critic

I’ve got a friend whose home cordless phone (yes, she still has one of those) announces, out loud, who’s calling. It’s kind of cool, because if you’re making dinner or watching TV or something, you know whether it’s worth answering. “Call from Vantage Insurance,” it’ll say — a telemarketer — and she ignores it. “Call from David Pogue,” and, of course, she leaps to answer.

Turns out the iPhone can do that too. But not one person in a thousand knows.

Open Settings > Phone >Announce Calls. Here, you get to choose whenthe phone announces the caller’s name when it rings: Always, Never, Headphones Only, or Headphones & Car.

The point of Headphones is privacy — it means, “Don’t announce the caller’s name at times when anyone nearby can hear; announce it only when I’m listening in private.”

And the point of “Headphones & Car” is a safety thing. When you’re driving, you don’t want to take your eyes off the road to see who’s calling.

All in all, a very cool feature that nobody knows about.

Adapted from Pogue’s Basics: Tech, by David Pogue, tech columnist for Yahoo Finance. He welcomes nontoxic comments in the Comments below. On the Web, he’s davidpogue.com. On Twitter, he’s @pogue. On email, he’s poguester@yahoo.com. You can read all his articles here, or you can sign up to get his columns by email

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