I have a tip today that can help you avoid getting sanctioned by a judge when your iPhone rings in court, even though you flipped the switch to mute it, because it is ringing through your iPad. But first, some background.
A neat feature in iOS 8 for folks who own both an iPhone and an iPad is Continuity, technology that lets you use an iPhone and iPad (and a Mac) almost interchangeably. For example, one part of Continuity is Handoff, a technology that lets you pass documents from one device to another. As I noted in my post on email improvements in iOS 8, you can start an email on your iPhone but then decide to finish it up on the iPad where you might have a Bluetooth keyboard attached. Or you can start reading a webpage on your iPhone, but then decide to continue reading it on your iPad's larger screen. You can use Handoff with Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders Calendar, Contacts and even some third party apps.
Another cool Continuity feature is that you can answer your iPhone from an iPad or a Mac. Imagine that you are on your couch using your iPad while your iPhone is in a different room and a call comes in to your iPhone. In iOS 8, you can answer the call on the iPad that is in your hand, without having to get that iPhone. And once the next version of the Mac OS is released — and I'm sure we will learn that date this Thursday — you will also be able to answer calls on your Mac. I've used this feature on my iPad a few times, and it is very useful. You can even make a call from your iPad; just tap the phone icon next to a phone number in the Contacts app, and your iPad will work as an extension of your iPhone. To use this feature, your iPhone and iPad must be using the same Apple ID account.
But the point of this post is not to praise the virtues of Continuity, but instead to provide a warning so that you don't have the same problem that I did this past Friday. I was in a meeting and my iPhone was in my pocket, but before the meeting started I had flipped the switch on the side to mute the iPhone. During the meeting, I received a phone call, and because my iPhone was on mute it just vibrated in my pocket, without bothering anyone else in the meeting. But then a second later, my iPad also started ringing, which caught me by surprise. It was just a meeting at my law firm with other partners, so it wasn't too embarrassing, but all I could think of was what if this had happened when I was in court?
Here are two ways to stop this from happening to you. First, you can turn off this feature of Continuity completely, although it is not very obvious how you do so. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone, but don't go to Phone, where you might expect this to be located, but instead go to FaceTime. Then turn off iPhone Cellular Calls.
Alternatively, you can keep the feature enabled on your iPhone, but go to the Settings app on your iPad, tap FaceTime, and turn off iPhone Cellular Calls just on your iPad. That way, you can use the feature with your iPhone and your Mac, but not with that iPad.
A second solution is to keep the feature enabled, but remember to mute your iPad at the same time that you mute your iPhone. You may be able to mute your iPad simply by flipping the switch on the side of your iPad, just like you can on the iPhone. But note that you can control in settings whether the switch on the iPad acts as a mute switch or locks the rotation. I keep my switch set on Lock Rotation, so I cannot use the switch to mute my iPad.
But there is another way to mute, even if the switch is used to lock rotation. If you swipe up from the bottom of your screen to bring up the Control Center, there is a row of five icons in the middle, starting with Airplane Mode. If the physical switch on your iPad is being used for the lock rotation function, then the last of those five icons will let you quickly turn mute on or off. (If your physical switch is being used for mute, then that fifth icon toggles the lock rotation function.) Note that you can mute your iPad from the lock screen; you don't have to be actually using your iPad to mute it.
Two final notes. First, note that Continuity only works for phone calls if your iPhone and iPad are on the same WiFi network. If you are in a meeting, court, etc. and your devices are not connected to WiFi, then you won't have to worry about your iPad ringing unexpectedly, even if you forgot to mute it. But remember that iOS devices remember WiFi networks, so after you connect to WiFi the first time in a location, your iPad might do it automatically in the future without you even realizing that it happened.
Second, be aware that if you have an older iPad in your house that you are no longer using yourself — perhaps it has become an iPad for your kids — and if that iPad is also using your same Apple ID, that iPad will ring as well unless you go to the Settings app and disable iPhone Cellular Calls on that iPad. Last thing that you want is for your six-year-old to answer a call that was intended for you.
Using Continuity for phone calls is useful enough that I'll probably keep it turned on. But hopefully after my experience this past Friday, I'll remember that I now have two devices to mute when silence is required, not just one. And hopefully you can learn from my mistake.
[UPDATE 10/20/14: Utah attorney Peter Summerill points out another good solution: turn on Do Not Disturb.]