How to make and take phone calls in OS X Yosemite

Call relay, part of Apple's Continuity features, lets you answer and place calls from your iPhone using your Mac, without having to scramble to find your phone. So if it's somewhere else charging, or if you forgot it in your jacket or backpack, as long as you've got your Mac handy, it's no problem! You do have to be logged into the same Apple ID (iCloud account) and on the same Wi-Fi network. Because call relay uses the same phone number, carrier, and plan as your iPhone, the person on the other end can't tell the difference. It also shows you the caller's number, contact picture, and more, so you don't lose out on any features. Best of all, it's really easy to use!

Continuity call relay requirements

In order for call relay to work, both your iPhone and Mac need to be:

  1. Running iOS 8.1 or later on iPhone, OS X Yosemite or later on Mac.
  2. Connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Logged into the same Apple ID (iCloud account).

How to enable or disable call relay on the Mac

  1. Double-click on the FaceTime icon in your Mac's dock — if you don't have one, just search for it via Spotlight Search instead.
  2. Click on FaceTime in the top menu.
  3. Click on Preferences...
  4. Make sure the box labeled iPhone Cellular Calls is checked.

To disable call relay, just repeat the same steps at uncheck the box.

Bear in mind that neither the FaceTime app on the phone nor the one on the Mac actually need to be active or running to enable your Mac to make and take calls. It's just that the preferences to manage this feature are kept within FaceTime settings. You can safely exit out of FaceTime on the Mac and still expect it to work.

How to enable call relay on your iPhone

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on FaceTime.
  3. Turn On the option for iPhone Cellular Calls if it isn't enabled already.

How to answer a phone call on your Mac

When you receive an incoming call, you'll see something that looks like this. Click on "Accept" to answer.

FaceTime incoming call

How to place a phone call on your Mac

You can place calls using your Mac from Contacts, Calendar, or Safari.

  1. Move your mouse pointer over the number you want to call.
  2. Wait for the blue phone icon to appear.
  3. Click on the icon to initiate the call.

That's all there is to it. Enjoy!