How to Customize Favorite Contacts in iOS 10

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Among the many new features in iOS 10 is a neat way to organize your favorite contacts and even access them quickly thanks to a new widget system introduced in the update. iOS 10 goes beyond general phone call-launching features, introducing ways to customize whether each contact icon will call, FaceTime, text, or email the person you tap on.

The addition makes favorites a far more useful and personal feature, superior to the 3D Touch Quick action it was limited to in previous versions of iOS (an enhanced 3D Touch option is still available). It should be noted that the basic communication preferences stored within each contact card on your iPhone will come into play when customizing your new favorites widget, so be sure to add in any phone numbers and email addresses before you start if you haven't done so already.

Customizing Favorites in the Phone App

Once you have iOS 10 downloaded, follow these steps to navigate through the new way you can customize favorites in the phone app.

The above image represents Step 5 in the instructions below


  1. Navigate to the Phone app.
  2. The app should open on the "Favorites" tab, but if not tap to it.
  3. Tap the "+" button in the top left corner of the screen.
  4. Search for the contact you want to add and tap it.
  5. Choose between Message, Call, Video, or Mail as your shortcut.
  6. To pick a number or email other than the one shown as default, tap the small down arrow to the right of Message, Call, or Mail to pick from any number/email already stored in your phone for this contact.
  7. Return to the Favorites tab and your new quick access contact will be at the bottom of your Favorites list.
  8. Tap "Edit" in the top right corner to delete or reprioritize contacts.

    When organizing your new favorite contacts, be sure to note that the first four contacts will receive top billing in the favorites widget, but a total of eight can fit.
Setting Up the Favorites Widget

The new favorites list is interesting because of its granular settings that allow you to jump into the contacts you only text with, while still accommodating those people you more often speak with on the phone. The personalization doesn't stop there, however, thanks to iOS 10's new and visually overhauled widgets system. Follow the next few steps to get your favorites widget up and running.


  1. Navigate to the widgets screen by swiping right from the main iOS 10 home screen, notification center, or lock screen.
  2. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of your widgets and tap "Edit."
  3. Find "Favorites" and tap the small green plus button to add it to your widgets.
  4. Use the triple bar or "hamburger" icon on the right side of the screen to move favorites further up or down the list.
  5. Hit "Done" to save your changes.
  6. You'll see your favorite contacts as a widget, with the top four contacts getting premium placement.
  7. Tap "Show More" to expand the widget to a total of eight contacts.
Since the favorites widget can show up to eight contacts, you can return to the phone app to add and rearrange your most important friends, family members, and co-workers to see the changes reflected in the widget.

Your customization options include: adding multiple methods of communication for one person (all four if you contact one person multiple ways frequently), removing the default phone call options for message-focused contacts, and setting your top four most used contacts to save room on the widgets screen, without needing to use the "Show More" option.

An example of the personalized layout that the new widget offers.


iOS 10 is full of other minor but useful features that are worth checking out, which MacRumors is covering in various guides and how-tos to give you a step-by-step walkthrough of each new feature. Check back for new articles, and be sure to read our forums for discussions on iOS 10, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and more.

Article Link: How to Customize Favorite Contacts in iOS 10
 

insomniac86

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2015
203
262
Perth, Western Australia
You used to be able to 3D Touch the Siri suggested contacts in iOs 9's proactive view to have shortcuts to FaceTime, email etc. The iOS 10 widget has no 3D Touch support. So it's a step backwards.

You can still 3D Touch the favourite contacts from the Phone app though.
 
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shareef777

Suspended
Jul 26, 2005
2,443
3,218
Chicago, IL
I preferred it in iOS 9. I used to be able to 3D Touch phone/FaceTime and get different results. Now they're both the same. 3D touching FaceTime shows icons to make a regular phone call. How does that make sense!?
 

insomniac86

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2015
203
262
Perth, Western Australia
The widget is a better idea, but it just needs 3D Touch support so you don't have to pin multiple of the same person. It should also keep the functionality to pin the same contact multiple times for people that do not have 3D Touch. Better yet, why not just allow it so that non-3D Touch users can just hold for two seconds to see other choices.
 

lsutigerfan1976

macrumors 68030
Sep 14, 2012
2,527
1,463
Who implemented it this way? It's like Apple copies 3rd party apps. But can't even do that correctly. I have a third party widget that does it much better. Just add the contact, tap the pic of the person on the widget and it ask you what you want to do with that person. No need to assign anything. I agree that it is strange they didn't implement it with 3D Touch options.
 

insomniac86

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2015
203
262
Perth, Western Australia
Yeah Apple software has really gone downhill with its inconsistency. I will say iOS 10 as a whole is pretty dam good though. Whoever designed the new maps app deserves a medal. It's super simple and clutter free. Yet it retains all its power and adds more. That app is an example of something well designed. Knowing my luck they will re-design it in iOS 11 to become a turd. Lol
 
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al_xander

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2015
2
1
Sydney
Does this then allow all these favourites through the DND feature regardless of the method of contact, or just favourites where phone is selected?
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
Does this then allow all these favourites through the DND feature regardless of the method of contact, or just favourites where phone is selected?
Depends on the setup of your DND, of course!

If you haven't checked out the supplementary new feature in the Contact app buried under the Ringtone toggle option named "Emergency Bypass", one can turn off "Favorites" in DND and still designate one or more people to get through by toggling on that Bypass for each relevant Contact.
 
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frifra

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
774
457
The widget is a better idea, but it just needs 3D Touch support so you don't have to pin multiple of the same person. It should also keep the functionality to pin the same contact multiple times for people that do not have 3D Touch. Better yet, why not just allow it so that non-3D Touch users can just hold for two seconds to see other choices.
But how would Apple justify then getting a new phone?

Thanks Macrumors for the tutorials :) - great stuff!
 

al_xander

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2015
2
1
Sydney
Depends on the setup of your DND, of course!

If you haven't checked out the supplementary new feature in the Contact app buried under the Ringtone toggle option named "Emergency Bypass", one can turn off "Favorites" in DND and still designate one or more people to get through by toggling on that Bypass for each relevant Contact.
Thanks. I've noticed the emergency bypass, but that makes the phone ring, even when you have silent switched on, so only a true emergency option.
 

Speedy Dingo

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
216
441
Australia
Do you know what I still hate in regards to contacts? That when you tell Siri to call/message someone, she has to sound out emojis that you may have next to names. It never used to before iOS 9, and I was hoping they removed this in iOS 10.
 

soanis

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2013
111
136
Europe
Beautiful, we finally don't have to unlock to answer e.g. Viber calls,
AND it's possible to set the "Viber-audio" option in the favorites section!
 

aplnub

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2008
121
71
I thought iOS 10 was going to bring other messaging/calling ways into the fold in this area. For instance, we would have the ability to select What's App instead of iMessage. What am I missing?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,554
16,048
Ah speed dial is back after 9 years
The Favorites have been in the Phone app for a long time.
[doublepost=1474143244][/doublepost]
Thanks. I've noticed the emergency bypass, but that makes the phone ring, even when you have silent switched on, so only a true emergency option.
So it doesn't just bypass DND but even the silent/vibrate setting and always rings for calls and plays a tone for messages even if the phone is on silent/vibrate?
[doublepost=1474143285][/doublepost]
I thought iOS 10 was going to bring other messaging/calling ways into the fold in this area. For instance, we would have the ability to select What's App instead of iMessage. What am I missing?
Updated calling apps can have their calls show up as normal calls would (rather than as just an app notification).
 
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nesss01

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2008
13
2
in ios9 siri would suggest Contacts and you could tap on one and get option to call/facetime/message.

Id this possible in ios10?

is their a 3rd part widget to do this?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,554
16,048
in ios9 siri would suggest Contacts and you could tap on one and get option to call/facetime/message.

Id this possible in ios10?

is their a 3rd part widget to do this?
You can have favorite contacts using that new widget from Apple. You can also use various Favorites types of widgets that exist or something like Launcher that allows you to set up shortcuts to all kinds of things.
 

frifra

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
774
457
I thought iOS 10 was going to bring other messaging/calling ways into the fold in this area. For instance, we would have the ability to select What's App instead of iMessage. What am I missing?
WhatsApp only shows up for phone calls for me but not under messages when adding a favorite.
 

6803390

Suspended
Sep 3, 2016
193
297
The Favorites have been in the Phone app for a long time.
[doublepost=1474143244][/doublepost]
So it doesn't just bypass DND but even the silent/vibrate setting and always rings for calls and plays a tone for messages even if the phone is on silent/vibrate?
[doublepost=1474143285][/doublepost]
Updated calling apps can have their calls show up as normal calls would (rather than as just an app notification).

I meant: Without logging in/so many steps just to get into favourites. Ps I never said favourites in 9 years.
 

nesss01

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2008
13
2
You can have favorite contacts using that new widget from Apple. You can also use various Favorites types of widgets that exist or something like Launcher that allows you to set up shortcuts to all kinds of things.

in ios9 you could tap on the contact to expand it to the various communications modalities and then tap on the phone icon to choose between multiple phone numbers for the contact. I can't find this last part in iOS 10 or any 3rd party widget.