It happens at least twice a day. I’m sitting here at my desk enjoying a blog post, listening to some music a la Rdio, or writing an article of my own, when I hear my phone vibrate – it’s never off of silent mode. It’s then I realize my phone is downstairs or across the room. At this moment my first-world problem self begins to groan because we can put a man on the moon and we can build a handheld device that is more powerful than all of NASA when we sent said man to the moon, but I can’t use my Apple computer to answer my Apple phone, ergo allowing me to talk with my fellow man; or woman; or dog if Quincy or Ansel are missing me.
And quite honestly, with the effort to blend the more significant efforts to connect iOS and OSX where utility and productivity is the highest, it confuses me why Apple hasn’t offered this as an option in Mountain Lion or even Mavericks. Just as iMessages – and with Mavericks – notifications can sync up and be replied to, it doesn’t seem too difficult to incorporate the entire concept on which phones were built around into the more synchronized system. However, it’s not something Apple currently offers.
Thankfully, today changes this, but instead of Apple doing the dirty work, it’s a third party behind it, akin to the pseudo-Airdrop solution I wrote about some time ago. The application is called Dialogue.
Dialogue provides “handsfree calling through your Mac” utilizing your iPhone and bluetooth connectivity to solve my very first-world problem mentioned above.
Using Bluetooth, all the way down to 2.0, all iPhones and “every Android device [they've] tested” works with the application, available for download through the Mac App Store. Keep your phone in your pocket, across the room, or just tangled up in your sleep from cuddling with your radiowave-emitting device throughout the night, and with a simple “Accept” or “Decline” you can pick up or deny your latest call.
Integrating into OSX extremely well, when you get a call to your device, a simple OSX-style notification pops up and a click of the button connects you, allowing you to use your Mac’s input and output source for your phone calls.
Due to the fact Dialogue remains in your menubar – if you so desire – you’re also capable of making a call through your Mac instead of only waiting for someone to call you. Your contacts are readily available and with a search and a click you’re set.
Also available is the capability to record your calls made through Dialogue. If you’re ADD as I am and are constantly forgetting your meeting time someone relayed to you or are trying to start a PRISM competitor, this much welcomed feature is greatly appreciated.
Wrapping it up
On their landing page, the Dialogue team suggests using a headset while making phone calls, as audio quality will vary greatly depending on your carrier and location, but from my experience with it the past few days, it’s not necessary unless you’re out in public. However, beyond call quality, using your Mac as a speakerphone should be a common courtesy no-no as it is.
It comes in at $6.99 in the App Store and is available for download now. If you’d like to keep in touch with the Dialogue team, you can follow them or shoot them a message via Twitter. And once you’ve given it a run-through and carried on the tradition of simplifying tasks, come back and let me know your thoughts. I know some of you will find it more useful than I, as well as those of you who don’t find it as beneficial.