How can I make a phone call on my Mac? I think it would be a more convenient option when I'm working on the Mac.

You want to make a phone call from your Mac? You've come to the right place. In fact, it's never been easier to make a phone call using an Apple Mac computer. You can make phone calls on a Mac by hooking your Mac up to an iPhone using Continuity (the new service that forms part of OS X Yosemite). With just a few clicks in OS X you can be talking to somebody via a phone call.

But Continuity isn't the only way to handle phone calls on a Mac. You can also make FaceTime Audio calls, which are phone calls in all but name. And there are a range of VoIP services such as Skype for Mac, which enable you to make phone calls anywhere in the world for great prices.

In this feature we're going to look at making phone calls on your Mac. You ready to talk?

Read more OS X Yosemite tips & Advanced OS X Yosemite tips and here’s what is coming in the next version of OS X...

How to make phone calls on your Mac: Make calls on a Mac using Continuity

Make a phone call on the Mac from Contacts

Continuity is the newest, and neatest, way to make phone calls on a Mac. With Continuity you can hook up your Mac OS X computer to your iPhone and handle calls on the Mac (or on the iPhone).

Continuity is actually part of FaceTime, and is set up automatically in OS X Yosemite when you enter your Apple ID details. As long as you have your iPhone and Mac running OS X Yosemite in the same location, and on the same network, you should be able to place phone calls on your Mac.

Unlike on iOS, there is no Phone app in OS X Yosemite, so you may not be aware of how to start a phone call with somebody on the Mac. Fear not: it's pretty simple.

  1. Open the Contacts app.
  2. Find the person you want to make a phone call to, and check that their phone number is listed at the top of their contact card (if not, click Edit and add their phone number).
  3. Hover your mouse over the phone number and a blue Phone icon will appear to the right of the number. Note that this isn't the same as the Audio icon below (we'll come to that next).
  4. Click the Blue phone icon on the left.

A window should pop up in the top-right of the screen for the phone call. You can speak through your Mac computer's mic and hear the person through the speakers. Click End when you want to end the phone call.

If you don't want to add the person to your contacts you can use FaceTime to call the person instead of Contacts. FaceTime can also be used to make an audio call using FaceTime instead of Continuity (but only to somebody with a FaceTime device).

How to make phone calls on your Mac: Make calls on a Mac using FaceTime Audio

Making a phone call on Mac OS X

If you haven't got an iPhone, haven't got it to hand or just want to make a phone call for free, you should check out FaceTime Audio. FaceTime Audio calls are exactly what they sound like: FaceTime calls, but just the audio part.

You can place FaceTime Audio calls to anybody you know with an Apple ID. So that's almost certainly anybody that you know who uses an Apple Mac or iPhone. All you need is their Apple ID/email address.

Here's how to make a FaceTime Audio call:

  1. Open FaceTime.
  2. Click the Audio tab.
  3. Enter the person's name, email or number in the Search field.
  4. Click the Call icon (shaped like a telephone next to their name) and choose FaceTime audio.

You now make a phone call to them with FaceTime. Click End when you have finished the phone call.

(You can also place a FaceTime Audio call from the Contacts apps. Go to your contacts and find the person you want to call: is there a FaceTime option beneath their phone numbers? If there is, to the right of this should be two icons: a video camera and a phone. Tap the phone and you'll start a FaceTime Audio call.)

How to make free phone calls on your iPhone using FaceTime Audio

How to make phone calls on your Mac: Make calls on a Mac using Skype

There are other ways to make phone calls on a Mac computer. You can download and install a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) app for OS X and use that to make phone calls. Typically you can make free calls to anybody using the same software, or service, and pay a small fee to make a phone call to a landline from the service.

Skype is the biggest name in VOiP services, although other options are worth checking out.

See: How to make and record phone calls using Skype & EE WiFi calling: What is it and how do I set it up on my iPhone?