This is the first installment of the “Father-In-Law” posts. These infrequent and irregular posts serve as a guide for anyone labeled as a techie who has run out of patience with their family asking how to use computers and phones. Send your family here! I’ll respond to real questions from my real father-in-law and gather the best resources here in one spot so they’re easy to access for you and your inquisitive relatives. If my father-in-law has these questions, I’m sure your family does too.

Why did I single out my father-in-law and doesn’t this seem dangerous for my continued existence? While my father-in-law may be limited in his technology skills he is persistent and fearless when asking questions related to technology. He’ll ask about any tech subject and is determined to find the bottom of the rabbit hole. His eagerness to understand technology is contagious and I really enjoy answering his questions.

This week, I missed a phone call from my father-in-law. I looked at my wife to see if she had missed a call from her dad when he called me again. “Your dad is calling, it must be important.” Before I could answer, the call had ended. I called back and he answered jovially “I’m at a party and didn’t mean to call you and then I accidentally called you twice. So sorry, gotta go!”

My father-in-law butt dials me 5-8 times a year. I’m not sure how a butt dial is possible with an iPhone but he manages to find a way no matter which version he owns. Or maybe it’s not a butt dial. Maybe it’s a father-in-law prank to annoy the man who married is only daughter. Either scenario seems entirely possible.

In addition to butt dialing, the Phone App Phone App icon can do quite a lot. At first, the Phone App seems pretty straight forward - make a call then hang up. But it’s hiding a few other features. The best resource I’ve found on the phone app comes directly from Apple and it’s free. The iPhone User Guide in iBooks or on Apple’s website.

iPhone User Guide in iBooks
iPhone User Guide on web
The entire user guide has a vast library of content so start with the Phone App section and find a useful feature or two specific to phone calls or voice messages before moving on.

The Phone App section Phone App icon of the user guide ranges from basic phone features like dialing a number to more complex features like blocking unwanted callers. Yes! You can block every telemarketer! This guide even demonstrates my personal favorite phone app feature, Visual Voicemail: how to read your voice messages.

You might not get butt dialed by your father-in-law but I’m sure he’d appreciate you showing him the Phone App section of the iPhone Userguide.