How to place and answer iPhone calls on your Mac with OS X Yosemite

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2015
With Apple's newly released OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, users can be alerted to incoming calls to their iPhone on their Mac, and even answer a call and carry a conversation through their Mac in a simple, seamless process.




Phone calling in Yosemite requires an iPhone with iOS 8 and an activated carrier plan. Both the Mac and the iPhone must use the same Apple ID for the system to automatically work.

Phone calls in Yosemite actually work through the FaceTime application. As a result, users must ensure they are signed in to their Apple ID for FaceTime calls on both their iPhone and their Mac, and both devices must also be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Placing phone calls in Yosemite works systemwide. That means users can initiate a call through the Contacts app, through the FaceTime app, or even by selecting a phone number in plain text or on a website.






Instructing Yosemite to dial the chosen number will automatically initiate the call. The user has no need to do anything with their iPhone, and the call itself will be routed through their Mac, including audio output and microphone input.

The call is handled by default in speakerphone mode, but if a user has headphones and a mic inserted into their Mac, those will work as well.

Answering a call on your Mac running Yosemite is even easier. A ringtone will play and an accompanying notification appears in the upper right side of the screen.






From here users can choose to accept the call, which automatically routes it through the Mac, or they can decline it with the usual options of replying with a message or setting reminders.

When a user is in a call, the iPhone displays a green bar at the top of the display showing the current call time. The bar can be tapped to pull up detailed call information or control the call directly from the iPhone.





Missed call alerts are also displayed accordingly through Notification Center in Yosemite.

Phone calls through Yosemite will not work if the iPhone has Wi-Fi Calling enabled. And the Cellular Calls option can be disabled on Yosemite through the settings of the Mac FaceTime application.

Phone call routing isn't restricted to Yosemite, as both the iPad and iPod touch can also be used to answer calls. Here the process works the same as on the Mac, automatically handling the call in speaker mode and routing audio output and mic input through the connected device on which the call was answered. Missed call alerts are also displayed across devices.

iPad and iPod touch calling can be disabled by going into the iOS Settings application, choosing FaceTime, and turning off the option for iPhone Cellular Calls.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    For anyone interested in analyzing these features for digital forensics, AppleExaminer.com has many technical articles. Keep up the great feature article AI!
  • Reply 2 of 54
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,610member
    I tried it, and it does work. Kinda slick.

    Wonder if there is an app for the 10.10 side that allows you to answer a call, and it accepts an incoming fax? Or conversely allows sending a fax? Old tech - meet new tech.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,494member

    All the major new features require your Mac to be on WiFi, which isn't the way I have mine set up. I wish these things would work with the Mac on ethernet since my wired network reaches more areas of the house than WiFi does.

  • Reply 4 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    rob53 wrote: »
    All the major new features require your Mac to be on WiFi, which isn't the way I have mine set up. I wish these things would work with the Mac on ethernet since my wired network reaches more areas of the house than WiFi does.

    Just enable both. I do that for using ARD yet have many Macs on ethernet to the TC.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    eightzero wrote: »
    I tried it, and it does work. Kinda slick.

    Wonder if there is an app for the 10.10 side that allows you to answer a call, and it accepts an incoming fax? Or conversely allows sending a fax? Old tech - meet new tech.

    I suspect we will see a slew of apps that add extra features. How about Octave shifting with gravel voice filter to you can be a Super Hero making the call from your Mac? :)

    I wonder if there is a way to transfer a call from the iPhone to the Mac part way through?
  • Reply 6 of 54
    "Wonder if there is an app for the 10.10 side that allows you to answer a call, and it accepts an incoming fax?"

    There has been since 2009. It is called RingCentral - they have a free version that allows incoming faxes.
  • Reply 7 of 54

    This feature is blow away. For a person like me that works a lot in my home office, the ability to be able to do it ALL from my desktop is more than I can even articulate. Call (The regular way), SMS, iMessage and Email now makes my computer the ultimate communications device.

  • Reply 8 of 54
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,244member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    All the major new features require your Mac to be on WiFi, which isn't the way I have mine set up. I wish these things would work with the Mac on ethernet since my wired network reaches more areas of the house than WiFi does.




    Not to mention mine's all Gigabit, so it's way faster (even if I did have everything 802.11ac, which I don't).  Plus there's no concerns about interference from other networks.  I don't really understand why it matters whether your network is wireless or wired: at the application level, packet routing is all the same.

     

    And yes, I understand that I can have both network types enabled at the same time.  But I like to turn Wi-Fi + Bluetooth off on my laptop to save power when I can.

  • Reply 9 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    auxio wrote: »

    Not to mention mine's all Gigabit, so it's way faster (even if I did have everything 802.11ac, which I don't).  Plus there's no concerns about interference from other networks.  I don't really understand why it matters whether your network is wireless or wired: at the application level, packet routing is all the same.

    Just turn on Wifi as well as ethernet, problem solved.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 503member
    Man, I wish this worked with Google Voice. I realize it's possible to do something similar using Chrome, but I hate Chrome.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,610member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by veggiedude View Post



    "Wonder if there is an app for the 10.10 side that allows you to answer a call, and it accepts an incoming fax?"



    There has been since 2009. It is called RingCentral - they have a free version that allows incoming faxes.

    Cool! But I suspect the 2009 version requires connection to a landline? I'm not even sure my mac has a telephone modem in it. And I for sure don't have a landline.

     

    I'll look for RingCentral - it might be getting a new version soon, thx.

  • Reply 12 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    Cool! But I suspect the 2009 version requires connection to a landline? I'm not even sure my mac has a telephone modem in it. And I for sure don't have a landline.

     

    I'll look for RingCentral - it might be getting a new version soon, thx.




    If you do find your mac has a telephone modem inside, you should immediately rush to an Apple store and buy something from the current century.....

    if you do get Yosemite to work on any mac that has an internal telephone modem, consider yourself a genius, and I for one am in awe.

  • Reply 13 of 54
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,610member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

     



    If you do find your mac has a telephone modem inside, you should immediately rush to an Apple store and buy something from the current century.....

    if you do get Yosemite to work on any mac that has an internal telephone modem, consider yourself a genius, and I for one am in awe.


    haha! True enough.

     

    RingCentral appears to be a commercial service using VoIP. Silly me - I guess I should have said I'm looking for a solution with no service costs. I might pay a reasonable price for the app itself.

  • Reply 14 of 54
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,494member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

     



    Not to mention mine's all Gigabit, so it's way faster (even if I did have everything 802.11ac, which I don't).  Plus there's no concerns about interference from other networks.  I don't really understand why it matters whether your network is wireless or wired: at the application level, packet routing is all the same.

     

    And yes, I understand that I can have both network types enabled at the same time.  But I like to turn Wi-Fi + Bluetooth off on my laptop to save power when I can.


    Didn't realize I could have both running at same time. I have ethernet set in the Network prefs as the first service to connect and speedtest only ran on ethernet, not WiFi, which seems to show it defaults to using ethernet for most things.

     

    I also had to play around with my iCloud settings since at one time iCloud must not have worked with my mac.com domain, instead requiring me.com so because I was logged in with mac.com on Facetime and me.com on iCloud it wouldn't work (even though I had all my aliases checked). Changing Facetime to use me.com let me check the Facetime prefs box to use iPhone cellular calls. It works now. I'm guessing Continuity also requires WiFi so some of my data will go over WiFi and some will use ethernet (gigabit in my case). I already have a headset that I use on my house phone so I might just move it to my iMac. I would get rid of my house phone but I don't have great cellular coverage where I live and it doesn't appear I could use the feature T-Mobile is talking about with iPhone calling.

  • Reply 15 of 54
    rob53 wrote: »
    Didn't realize I could have both running at same time. I have ethernet set in the Network prefs as the first service to connect and speedtest only ran on ethernet, not WiFi, which seems to show it defaults to using ethernet for most things.

    I also had to play around with my iCloud settings since at one time iCloud must not have worked with my mac.com domain, instead requiring me.com so because I was logged in with mac.com on Facetime and me.com on iCloud it wouldn't work (even though I had all my aliases checked). Changing Facetime to use me.com let me check the Facetime prefs box to use iPhone cellular calls. It works now. I'm guessing Continuity also requires WiFi so some of my data will go over WiFi and some will use ethernet (gigabit in my case). I already have a headset that I use on my house phone so I might just move it to my iMac. I would get rid of my house phone but I don't have great cellular coverage where I live and it doesn't appear I could use the feature T-Mobile is talking about with iPhone calling.

    You should still be able to use WiFi calling feature on your phone and have it still ring through to your computer and or other iOS devices
  • Reply 16 of 54
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post



    I tried it, and it does work. Kinda slick.



    Wonder if there is an app for the 10.10 side that allows you to answer a call, and it accepts an incoming fax? Or conversely allows sending a fax? Old tech - meet new tech.



    For those having issues; Call Failed error.. If you're Mac is wired in, disable WiFi and it will work.. Stops working the second I re-enable WiFi.. doh!

     

    Also, I'm having an issue where I want to use a 3rd party Mic and it won't let me.. I have the correct Mic selected in FaceTime and in System Prefs/Sounds and still it seems hard coded to use the internal Mic of my Retina Macbook Pro..

  • Reply 17 of 54
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 235member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    All the major new features require your Mac to be on WiFi, which isn't the way I have mine set up. I wish these things would work with the Mac on ethernet since my wired network reaches more areas of the house than WiFi does.




    Not true.  Your Mac CAN be on a wired ethernet connection. Just as long as it is on the same IP network as your Wifi (techies will say same "broadcast domain").  Most home networks will be set up this way by default.  It will fail only if there is a router between your wired and wifi networks.  

     

    Your iPhone must be on wifi, but your Mac does not always have to be.

  • Reply 18 of 54
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,494member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DCGOO View Post

     



    Not true.  Your Mac CAN be on a wired ethernet connection. Just as long as it is on the same IP network as your Wifi (techies will say same "broadcast domain").  Most home networks will be set up this way by default.  It will fail only if there is a router between your wired and wifi networks.  

     

    Your iPhone must be on wifi, but your Mac does not always have to be.


    Turned off WiFi on my iMac and can still call. My bigger problem was not having an identical iCloud account name (so much for aliases). I can't test Continuity because my iMac is from 2009.

  • Reply 19 of 54

    Anyone tried it yet? It needs work.

     

    I can hear my callers just fine through my computer, but caller complain that I sound like I'm talking from a bucket.

     

    I'm pretty certain that means "not sounding good."

     

    It can only get better.

     

    Tom 

  • Reply 20 of 54
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    Cool! But I suspect the 2009 version requires connection to a landline? I'm not even sure my mac has a telephone modem in it. And I for sure don't have a landline.

     

    I'll look for RingCentral - it might be getting a new version soon, thx.


     

    I use RingCentral. No landlines required. They do all the fax stuff via the net. You can send them as email attachments to anybody's fax number, and you can receive faxes to your virtual 1-800 (or whatever) number. It's smart enough to only ring your cell when it's a voice call.

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