OS X Yosemite: Let's Make Some Phone Calls!

Today we’re gonna talk about the many different ways you can initiate a phone call from your Mac under Yosemite. First of all, make sure your stuff meets the system requirements and all of the appropriate boxes for enabling this feature are checked—Apple’s got a whole support article about it. Ready? Good! Let’s get started.

The first, most obvious way you could call someone is to click the “Audio” button under the person’s number in Contacts.

That’ll give you the choice of calling someone via FaceTime Audio or using your iPhone as the conduit.

Secondly—and this is my favorite method—you can use Spotlight to search for a contact’s name, and when his or her card is selected in the Spotlight window, you’ll be able to access the same “Audio” button to make a call.

If you need to dial a specific number instead of calling someone already in your contacts, what you’ll do is open the FaceTime application first, click on the “Audio” tab, and then type or paste the number into the search field. There’ll be a familiar teensy phone icon there, just waiting for you:

Calling the number of a business is simple, too. You can look one up in Maps, click on the little “i” that appears next to its location, and then dial right from the info page by clicking the number itself or the phone icon that appears when you hover over it.

Alternatively, find the contact number of the business in Safari and select it. When you do so, a drop-down arrow will appear. Click that, and you’ll see the option to call the number.

Whew…getting tired…still lots of article to go…acquiring coffee…


Right! Next up is using Mail’s so-called Data Detectors to make calls. If a message you’ve received has a phone number (in the signature, say), hover over that number to get a drop-down arrow to use to call it:

Finally, there are a couple of more…shall we say…esoteric ways to make calls. To be honest, I’m not sure why this works, but if you right-click a phone number in TextEdit, you’ll get an option to call it.

In Calendar, too, you can call numbers you’ve entered, but the process is different depending on which field they’re in. For example, if you put a phone number in as the title of an event, you’ll right-click to call it from the event’s info window; if the number’s in the notes field, though, it’ll give you a handy link!

I’m pretty excited about this feature, but I’m all kinds of not excited about how inconsistent it is across Yosemite. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like making a phone call from Calendar shouldn’t be different from making one in Mail, which should be similar to calling a business from Safari or Maps. But maybe I’m the crazy one, right?

…Don’t answer that.