With iOS8, and later this year OS X Yosemite, Apple introduces a pretty nifty feature that may very well transform the way you’re taking phone calls while being in the office or working from home.
Imagine you’re sitting at your desk, your phone is somewhere in your pocket or all tied up and charging in the other room. A call comes in, what do you do?
Up until iOS8 and Yosemite, you literally had to hunt down your iPhone to take the phone call (and hope it hadn’t stopped ringing by the time you had found it).
Not anymore. Now, with this year’s releases of both OS X and iOS, you can take your phone calls on what ever device you’re using right now. Whether it’s your iPad or your Mac.
When the call comes it, it will just ring on every device you own. You can answer it right away or respond with a message. Just as you’re used to on your phone.
What’s even more important than that, is the fact that you can also call people without even using your iPhone. As long as your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi as your other devices, you can just click/tap a phone number on your Mac/iPad (in Contacts, Calendar or Safari) and it will use your iPhone to call the other person.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? So how do you set it up?
The good news is, that you don’t have to do anything. Once you’ve installed iOS8 on your iPhone or iPad, and Yosemite on your Mac(s), it will just start working automatically.
There’s another feature in iOS8, that sounds similar to what I’ve just described: Wi-Fi calling. And while it does basically do the same thing, there are a few key difference between the two features.
In the scenario I’ve just described, your phone calls are sent to your iPhone using Wi-Fi where they are routed through the GSM/CDMA network. Just like they would if you were using the iPhone directly.
With what Apple calls “Wi-Fi calling” you’re literally using your Wi-Fi (and your internet connection) to place the call (so it’s basically VoIP). This not only increases the overall quality of your calls, it also makes them more reliable (especially in cases where you barely get any signal, e.g. in the basement).
And while the first approach works with any call and requires no setup whatsoever, Wi-Fi calling has to be specifically enabled by your carrier which (aside from T-Mobile in the US and Rogers in Cananda) none of them have done, yet.
To sum up this article, placing and receiving phone calls on your iPad or Mac will work with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite automatically. So don’t be surprised if your iPad or Mac starts rigning all of the sudden.
Whether you can also use Wi-Fi calling will depend on whether your carrier allows you to do so.