Locking the IPhone Keyboard During Calls to Avoid Inadvertent Mute

Finally after having my iPhone for several months now and getting quite tired of it hanging up or going on mute when it touches my face, I did a little research. The funny thing is that my iPhone 1, iPhone 3, and iPhone 3GS never had this problem – I could hold them to my face for an entire call and it would never push buttons while up to my face. But the iPhone 4 is terrible – I have taken to holding the phone at a 30-degree angle away from my face and only touching my head above my ear with the top of the phone. Grrr.

So this morning, armed with a cup of coffee and a few minutes I started doing some research. I started with “iphone lock keyboard during call” as my search and quickly found this discussion.

It seemed as though most of the discussion was confused and off point – but I kept reading and got way down to this comment from Scott Woermann:

The solution that I’ve found is this: while on the call, hit the home button. The call is still active, with the green bar across the top for getting “back” to the phone interface. So then, just hit the sleep/power button. It will then lock the screen and bring up the slider button, and the call stays up! Hope it works for others…

He is close but not quite right. His trick only works if you receive a call – but not if you make a call — urg. But the workaround is to only press the home button after you make the call and not press the power button – then at least you won’t be in the phone UI. You might inadvertently buy an eBook or something bid on eBay item with your face but it will be hard for your face to hang up the call or put you on Mute. So we have a less-than-elegant solution – but that is OK.

So now I am again a happy guy. As with most times when I am unhappy with Apple’s usability shortcomings – the most common problem is that there is a *really simple solution* that I cannot find and since there is only one way to do something – so if you don’t get the simple solution, you are lost.

I still think a simple “Lock” key on the phone with a nice finger slide to unlock would be cool. Sadly, the top button used to do this but now it hang up the call. While I have not tested all versions thoroughly, it seems from my recollection that about the time the top button switched from “lock” to “hang-up” is about the same time as I went from not needing a lock button to needing a lock button to avoid face-muting my phone :) Ah well I have a solution that works well enough for now.

And my coffee is still hot…