Some phones don’t have very good ring tones from which to select, which is probably how the whole musical ringtone fad got started. Frankly, most of us are tired of hearing everybody else’s bad musical taste every time their phones ring and would rather just pick something less intrusive from the standard list on our iPhones and let it go at that. The process is very easy and takes just a couple of minutes.
Start in the first screen of apps on your iPhone, at least if you have not change the basic home screen. Tap on the “Settings” icon, bringing up the large list of available setting types. Near the middle of the first page of settings, tap on “Sounds.” There are a number of settings on the sounds page. The one you want to use to set your primary telephone call ring tone is (oddly enough) called “Ringtone.” Tap on that word and you will be presented with the list of available ringtones.
The ringtone selection menu (at least under iOS4) contains 12 possible ringtones. The one which is currently set is shown by a check-mark at the right of the line showing the name of that ringtone. To hear what the various ringtones sound like, just tap on each one. After you tap on the name, the ring tone will play. Tapping on another will stop it and play the last one tapped. When you have heard the one you want, you set it by just tapping on it, making sure that it is selected with the check mark, then tapping on the “Sounds” link at the top left of the Ringtones screen. Then just press the home button to exit the Settings function.
You can also set one of these ringtones to be used for each name in your contacts list. To set a special ringtone for a contact, like your mother or your boyfriend, tap on the “Phone” icon in the bottom row of any iPhone menu screen. Then tap on “Contacts.” This will bring up your contacts list. Scroll through the list and select the contact you want by tapping on it.
Just below the telephone number (or numbers) on the contact information screen, is a line labeled “ringtone.” It will show the ringtone currently set for that contact. If you have not changed it previously, it will say “Default,” meaning that the ringtone for this contact is the same as the main ringtone you picked during the first part of this article. To change it, tap on the ringtone line. This will bring up the list of your ringtones, the standard ones plus any custom ones that you have added.
Select one of the available ringtones just as you did in the primary ringtone selection at the beginning of the article. The current default is shown at the top of the list. After you have tapped on the ringtone you want for this contact, tap on the “Save” button at the upper right of the screen. To leave things as they are, either tap on the name in the “Default” line of the screen or tap “Cancel” at the upper left of the screen.