As evidenced by a newly granted patent (number 11,310,359), Apple wants your iPhone to be able to offer more options than just accepting or declining incoming calls.
About the patent
In the patent filing, Apple says that a common disadvantage with current incoming call screens on handheld devices is that a user can only accept the call, decline the call, or send the caller directly to voicemail. If users want to perform another action, such as to reply to the caller with an email instead of accepting the call, or be reminded to call the caller back, they have to first decline the call and then separately access other features of the device, which consists of more steps and is more time consuming.
Apple says this is inconvenient and time consuming. The tech giant wants to streamline the process.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A data processing system that, in one embodiment, uses smart reminders to allow a user to decline an incoming phone or messaging call and to cause the system to set a smart reminder about the call. In one embodiment, the system can use the system’s current state or context (e.g. the system is in a car or is playing a movie) to determine the type of reminder options to present to the user and to determine when to trigger the reminder based on the reminder option that is selected by the user.”