With Continuity on OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.x, there’s a lot you can do between your Mac and your iPhone/iDevice. The integration between the two devices is now at an all-time high. There’s Handoff for apps, SMS Relay (coming up in iOS 8.1) and Family Sharing to begin with. But of all things, you can now make and receive iPhone calls right on your Mac (or iPad).

The basic idea behind Continuity calling is to let you answer/make calls on your Mac even when your iPhone is lying somewhere else. You don’t have to rush to get that call or get up to make a call anymore. But to do all that, you will need to setup the Continuity calling feature on your devices.

Make and Receive Calls On Mac

How to Send and Receive Calls from OS X Yosemite:

1. The Basic Setup

For Continuity to work correctly, there’s a bare minimum setup you need.

  1. Your iPhone, Mac and any other device you want to connect should be on the same Wi-fi network.
  2. All your iDevices and Mac should be logged in to the same iCloud account.
  3. Your devices need to support Continuity calls. iPhone 5 and later, iPad 4th gen and later, and Macs that run OS X Yosemite will support Compatibility. Continuity calling might not work on some old Macs.

2. Setting up iPhone Cellular Calls on iPhone

First off, you have to enable cellular calls to be passed on to your Mac. This can happen only when you switch on a feature called iPhone Cellular Calls on your iPhone. Here’s how to do that:
On your iPhone:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap on Facetime
  • Switch on iPhone Cellular Calls

FaceTime Settings on iPhone
If you don’t find iPhone Cellular Calls, your iPhone doesn’t support this feature or you are not on iOS 8.x. Apple says handoff calls works in iOS 8 too but for good measure, we think it’s best to be on iOS 8.1.
Now that you’ve enabled iPhone Cellular calls on your iPhone, it’s time to setup your Mac to receive (and make) calls from your iPhone.

3. Setting up Calls on Mac

On your Mac:

• Open Facetime
• Click on Facetime from the menu
• Tap on Preferences
• Enable/check iPhone Cellular Calls

Enable iPhone Cellular Calls in Yosemite

Now, you’ve setup the system to make/receive calls on/from your Mac.

4. Receiving Calls on Mac

One of the first things you can try is to see if your Mac gets calls when someone rings your iPhone. All you need to do is call your number from some other phone and if you’ve setup correctly, your Mac should show a notification of the incoming call.

Again, at the risk of repeating myself, make sure your iPhone and your Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and are signed in to the same iCloud account. If these conditions are not satisfied, Continuity won’t work.

When you receive a call notification on your Mac, you can Accept or Decline.

Accept Calls in Yosemite Through iPhone

There are some more options: you can click on the arrow mark next to Decline to decline and send a message to the caller. Or to set reminders for callback.

5. Making Calls on Mac

Making a call from your Mac (that is routed through your iPhone) is also relatively simple. There are two ways you can do this.

  • Through Facetime: Open Facetime, enter the name or number of the contact and then press on the phone icon to make a call. It is not necessary that the contact should be in your address book.
  • Through other apps: Whenever there’s a number on screen (Safari, Mail, Spotlight, etc.), you can call by right-clicking on the number and selecting Call XXX-XXX-XXXX Using iPhone where XXXs is the number.

6. Preventing Calls On Too Many Devices

When you have an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac connected to the same network, with the same iCloud ID and with Continuity enabled on all, one interesting scenario can happen: when you get a call on the iPhone, all your devices start ringing/pinging!

Depending on what you actually want, this can be an annoyance. You can prevent this from happening by selectively turning off iPhone Cellular Calls on your Mac or your iPad. Do not turn off iPhone Cellular Calls on your iPhone because that will turn off the entire feature on all devices irrespective of iPhone Cellular Calls being checked on your Mac/iPad.

For instance, if you don’t want your iPad to ring every time your iPhone gets a call, all you need to do is this:

On your iPad:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap on Facetime
  • Switch OFF iPhone Cellular Calls

Repeat the process for all other iDevices.

On the other hand, if you want your iDevices to pick up calls but not your Mac, you just have to turn off the respective checkbox on your Mac.