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Using the iPhone’s 'do not disturb' feature on your next business trip

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: iPhone, travel tips, Apple iPhone

TRAVEL TIP | Crossing time zones isn’t the only way to interrupt a good night’s sleep – forgetting to switch your phone to silent while you rest, particularly when you’re less-than-awake after a 24 hour flight, can be just as disruptive.

That’s particularly so in cities like London and New York where the Australian business day falls in the middle of the night, but for iPhone users, quiet time can be automatic each and every day regardless of where you are thanks to a nifty and built-in ‘do not disturb’ feature.

When enabled it completely silences your phone during the hours you specify, while still allowing calls through from VIPs like your spouse or employer.

You’ll find ‘do not disturb’ right underneath ‘control centre’ in the iPhone’s Settings app...

… and once opened, begin by tapping on ‘scheduled’ to set your permanent dozing hours:

Then, set your limits on who can reach you during that time.

Selecting ‘favourites’ is a great way to cherry pick preferred contacts such as your partner and boss – who likely know where you are and wouldn’t be calling in the middle of the night unless it was urgent – while silencing calls from everybody else.

Nominating those favourites is done via the iPhone’s separate Contacts app: just call up their contact card, hit ‘add to favourites’, select the correct phone number and you’re all set.

(Favourites can later be delisted by opening Contacts, clicking the favourites icon at the bottom left and clicking 'edit' at the top.)

Alternately, the ‘everyone’ option is great for people who live their lives on call and are contacted from private or varying numbers, as it silences other beeps such as for emails and text messages while still allowing your phone to ring.

For those choosing ‘favourites’ or indeed ‘no one’, your phone can also be set to ring if the same person tries to call twice within three minutes – but as we’ve repeatedly found, it often results in voicemail-shy callers disturbing you when they hang up and dial again, so use with caution.

Instead, if you’re expecting an important call you could disable ‘do not disturb’ on a one-off basis by swiping up on your phone to reveal the Control Centre, and clicking on the moon icon:

That makes your phone temporarily ring, beep or vibrate as it normally would when calls, text messages and other notifications come through, with your phone automatically returning to your usual quiet schedule the next day.

Finally, as ‘do not disturb’ relies on your phone’s local time, you won’t need to adjust your settings when travelling overseas or even interstate – your regular schedule, which might be quiet from 10pm to 5:30am, would automatically become 10pm to 5:30am in your destination’s local time.

You’ll just need to make sure your phone knows where you are: easily done by browsing to Settings > General > Date & Time and choosing ‘set automatically’ if the option isn’t already enabled…

That way, your iPhone’s time will automatically change when you cross between time zones, and you’ll never again need to flick your phone to silent overnight – Apple’s got that covered.

Also read: Apple Pay launches in Australia: what you need to know

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About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!

 

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1 on 4/1/16 by Dev Patel

Really great...I didn't know about this feature.

 

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