How to decline a phone call with a custom text message on ICS

Android 4.0 provides users with the ability to decline an incoming call with a quick response text message, instead of just sending the caller to voice mail. Here's how you can edit the default messages.

Ever send a friend or family member to voice mail only to have them keep calling or even text you asking why you declined their call?

With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, users can now politely decline phone calls and at the same time send the caller a quick response text message. While the feature isn't entirely new to the Android platform, the location of the settings for the feature have changed.

If you ever messed with this feature on the Motorola Atrix, you would have gone into Settings > Call settings > Text message reply to change any of the replies. Not anymore. The settings for the Phone app on Ice Cream Sandwich are now located in the actual Phone app, not the Settings app. To change the default quick response, follow the simple instructions below.

    Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  1. Launch the Phone app and tap on the settings icon.
  2. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  3. The very first option you will see is quick responses, tap on it.
  4. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  5. As of now, you cannot add another quick response to the list; you're stuck with the default number of responses. To edit a response, tap on it.
  6. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  7. You can change the response to say whatever you'd like. Tap OK when you are satisfied with your custom response.

We tested to see if there was a character limit, and if there is, it's well beyond 300 characters, giving you plenty of space to say what you want when you decline a call.

Using a quick response to decline a call is really easy; in fact, it's only two steps.

    Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  1. Normally when your phone begins ringing, you would slide the circle to the right to answer and the left to send the caller to voice mail. When using a quick response, you simply drag the circle up to the messaging icon and let go.
  2. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  3. You will then be prompted to select one of the predefined responses, or create a custom message on the fly, without any predefined text. Tapping on the desired reply will decline the call and immediately send a message to the caller.
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Tech Culture
About the author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and Fortune.com.

 

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