It’s not fair to say this to you yet because I’m only tried it exactly once and exactly one minute ago. But it didn’t entirely work and I can’t see why, so I want to explore it. And also, frankly, tease you.
This is the feature and this is the bit that is working: I can now make phone calls from my Mac. It uses my iPhone but that’s the thing, it uses it, I don’t. Scroll through my Contacts list and click or right click on any phone number anywhere – in an email, on a website, in an OmniFocus task – and I can dial it from there. It may ring using my phone but you don’t care and I don’t notice: the sound comes out of my Mac’s speakers and my voice is sent via the Mac’s microphone.
I found the call quality to be a bit crackly and the person I called – okay, it was my mother – had trouble hearing me but it did work and it was useful.
I realise now that I will use this for all my calls when I’m in my office because it’s just so handy but I did originally want to use it for recording interviews. And that’s the bit I can’t get to work yet. I use Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack Pro a lot and it’s the obvious choice for this kind of thing but it isn’t working for me yet. I tried grabbing the audio from FaceTime, the application that the Mac uses to do these calls and got exactly nothing recorded. I tried switching to have Audio Hijack Pro grab my system audio – so every little bleep and whistle my Mac makes – and that did work except it audibly dropped the volume on the call so that now I was having trouble hearing my mother.
I wonder what we’ve both just agreed to.
So let’s consider the interview-recording to be a work in progress but, blimey, calling from your Mac. As with so many things, this is the way it should always have been – and so this is the way it will be. If you’re on a PC then thank you for reading this far but you’re going to get this Mac feature as soon as Microsoft finishes its cycle. That would be stage 1) deriding Apple, stage 2) claiming you could always do that anyway with a PC, stage 3) announcing it as a new feature and hoping you don’t notice Apple’s already done it, stage 4) eventually shipping the new feature and stage 5) eventually shipping a version that works.