As an iPhone user, I’ve long been jealous of Android’s ability to pin a contact directly to the home screen, perfect for true one-touch dialing. While you still can’t pin a contact to the iOS home screen (why not, Apple?), there is a way to call one of your “Favorites” with a single tap, even when your iPhone is locked.
Now, if you’re not keen on the idea of you—or anyone else, including perfect strangers—being able to place calls on your locked iPhone, I don’t blame you.
But if you’re looking for the fastest way possible to call (or FaceTime) your most-dialed contacts and you can get over the locked-iPhone-dialing thing, give this tip a try—and actually, there is a way to disable one-touch dialing from your iPhone’s lock screen, although doing so may entail some sacrifices on your part.
First, you’ll need to install a new widget in the Today view—you know, the panel of widgets that shows you the weather, your upcoming calendar events, traffic conditions, and the like.
To get to the Today view, go to your home screen, then swipe from left to right. (You may have to swipe repeatedly if you have multiple home screens.) You can also get to the Today panel by swiping down from the home screen to reveal the iOS Notification Center, and then swiping from left to right.
Once you’ve arrived at the Today screen, scroll all the way down and tap the Edit button; doing so will take you to the Add Widgets screen.
Next, scroll again until you find the Favorites widget, tap the green “+” button next to it, then tap Done. When you return to the Today screen, you’ll see the new Favorites widget—complete with icons for four of your favorites, or tap Show More to see up to eight—sitting at the bottom. (To reorder your widgets, tap the Edit button again, then drag the three-line handles next to each widget you want to move.)
Now, if you tap a contact in the Today widget, your iPhone will immediately dial their phone number (or place a FaceTime call, if that’s the option you chose on the Favorites screen).
The new Favorites widget makes for a much easier way to dial your favorite contacts than having to jump to the Phone app and tapping the Favorites tab.
But remember, even if your iPhone is locked, you—or, as I mentioned before, anyone else—can still swipe from left to right on the lock screen, then tap a contact in the Favorites widget to call them.
OK, but what if you love the idea of being able to speed-dial your favorites, but don’t want to let strangers make calls from your locked iPhone?
If so, you can block access to the Today view—including the Favorites widget—when your iPhone is locked, although doing so means you won’t be able to access any of your Today widgets from the lock screen.
The trick? Tap Settings, Touch ID & Passcode, go to the “Allow Access when Locked” section, then flick off the Today View switch.
If you have Message or Mail favorites (that is, favorites for which you chose Message or Mail rather than Call or FaceTime), you can also one-tap those from the Favorites widget—but unlike one-touch phone and FaceTime dialing, you won’t be able to send one-tap text or mail messages unless your device is unlocked.