One of the much ballyhooed features of iOS 8.x and OS X Yosemite is the ‘Continuity‘ option which lets Mac or iPad make and answer phone calls through your iPhone. That’s a handy new feature. While working on your Mac or viewing the iPad, instead of digging through purse, pocket, or backpack to make or receive a call, the calls can be handled by whatever Apple device you’re using at the time. Leave the iPhone where it is.
It’s a great idea whose time has come but there are a few caveats. First, all the devices need to be running iOS 8.x, and OS X 10.10 respectively, all need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, and for Mac users, you need one that supports Bluetooth low energy mode. If your Mac is too old then you’re out of luck. No calls for you.
Unless you add HandsFree to your Mac.
This clever Mac utility works much the way Bluetooth in your car works with your iPhone (or Android smartphone). It gives you an option to make and receive phone calls– from your Mac– through your iPhone, so it works much like Continuity on newer Macs.
Here’s what happens. A phone call comes in to your iPhone, which alerts your Mac with a pop up window. One click declines or accepts on the device you want.
Your Mac becomes a handsfree phone, and works about the same way as Continuity on newer Macs, and similar to Bluetooth in a car.
There’s a built-in menu to search Contacts to make a call, or you can use the dial pad. Calls will use your Mac’s built-in microphone and speakers (but you can use earbuds or a headset, too).
Preferences are many but not overbearing; mostly easy to setup, and configuration is self explanatory.
As an added bonus you’ll also be able to see notifications for low battery on your iPhone, and any missed calls.
Once setup and installed you’ll be able to use your Mac to receive and make phone calls through your iPhone (or other Bluetooth-equipped smartphone), pretty much exactly the way it works in a Bluetooth-enabled car.
Bluetooth connectivity can be finicky sometimes. When it works, it works great. When it doesn’t, troubleshooting to find a solution could become a full time job. For me, on my older iMac with a new iPhone, it works fine, and couldn’t be easier to use.
Not bad, priced right, and there’s a trial version to make sure it works on your Mac and smartphone.