iOS 8: Make Cellular Phone Calls from Your iPad Using Handoff

If you have both a modern iPhone and iPad (or iPod touch 5G) running iOS 8, you can make a voice phone call from your iPad, using your iPhone's cellular connection without ever touching the iPhone. It's easy to set it up.



Let's say you're in the living room watching TV and your iPad is in your lap—as one of those second screens. Your iPhone is in the kitchen on a charger. You need to make a phone call. Instead of getting up to fetch the iPhone, you can make the call right from your iPad. But, first, there are some hardware requirements and some Settings to attend to. Don't worry; it's easy.

1. Hardware Requirements

You must have both an iPad (or iPod touch) and iPhone running iOS 8. They must be fairly new—as follows.

  • iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad (4th generation), iPad Air
  • iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

2. Settings

There are a few Setting to adjust, but once you set it up, you won't need to fiddle any further.

  1. Both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. You must be signed into FaceTime on both devices: Settings > FaceTime
  3. You must turn on "iPhone Cellular Calls" on both devices: Settings > FaceTime > iPhone Cellular Calls
  4. You must be signed into iCloud on both devices with the same Apple ID: Settings > iCloud

Settings > FaceTime.
f you're logged in, your Apple ID will be displayed

3. Procedure

Now you're all set. On the iPad, tap a phone number in Contacts, Calendar or Safari. Then you'll see this, for example, on your iPad. The annotation under the person's name confirms that the iPhone is being invoked.

At first, I got an error after everything was set up. I tried turning my iPhone 6 off, then on and that made the feature active. Also, I read that if your carrier has enabled Wi-Fi calling, and you're using it, you must turn that Setting off. Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling. I haven't confirmed that caveat myself because I use AT&T.

You can also answer incoming calls on your iPad with this configuration.

I'm excited about this feature, and I think it'll change the way we use our iPads.

4. References

5. Related Features

You can also use the same process to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your iPad. You must be signed into iMessages. See the iPad User Guide linked above, page 24.


Apple iPhone 6 pair via Apple.