When at home, I keep my iPhone on a charger in the bedroom. Like many in the computer biz, I am on call 24×7 and so need to be available to my employer (fortunately, I have been called while asleep only twice in the last 10 years, thanks to the much greater reliability of hardware and software). Because of this, when I get a call during the day, I am usually at my desk working in the office a couple of rooms away. If I don’t notice the phone ringing in time, I might not get to it before it goes to voice mail (and yes, it’s turned all the way up, but my hearing isn’t what it used to be).
Even worse, most of the calls seem to be sales pitches or wrong numbers. So I’ve stopped my work and raced over to the phone (since I don’t know if I’ve missed some rings), only to find it’s a waste of time.
So what’s the solution? Sure I could just bring the phone with me, but that’s way too low-tech for a blog like this! No, I decided to look for apps to connect my iPhone to my Mac. The one I like best is called Connect ($2.99 in the App Store), and it offers a lot more than just seeing who’s calling. You can also use it to answer calls, make calls, and even use Siri from your desktop. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can still use Connect with your Bluetooth smartphone, including whatever voice control is available on your phone.
In the upper right, you can see your cellular signal strength and battery indicator from the phone.
You can either enter a number or bring up your contact list and click on someone to call them. You can also start typing and Connect will look in your contacts and for local entries that match (for example, the Apple store is the only entry in my contacts, but the “Apple Fritter” and a few other places with “Apple” in the name came up). Clicking the map with get you directions. Any incoming calls will show up in the Notification Center, so you can see them as they come in, or find missed calls. I haven’t need it yet, but you can respond to a call via iMessages with a text (if the recipient has an iOS device and is using iMessages as well).