Five Tip Friday ~ Even more Yosemite tips for Mac phone calls and more


1/ Minimise, Maximise — Have you noticed that clicking the green traffic light button at top left of windows now launches Full Screen Mode? Don’t worry – if you hold down the Option key while you click, you get the more traditional behaviour.

2/ Hotspot iPhone tethering —A lot of the power of Yosemite on your Mac and iOS 8.1 on your phone comes down to much better integration between the two platforms. For years you could get a Mac online anywhere as long as your iPhone could get a cell signal, but that’s easier than ever now thanks to Instant Hotspot.
This requires an iPhone running iOS 8.1 and a Mac with OS X Yosemite installed. As it’s a Continuity feature, both devices must be logged in to the same iCloud Apple ID.
Your carrier plan has to have tethering enabled (most NZ Vodafone plans support it; not sure about the others) to take advantage of Apple’s hotspot functionality. But before, users were required to open the iOS Settings application and enable Personal Hotspot and then connect via Bluetooth or the USB charge cable plugged in between the iPhone and the Mac (very fast and reliable compared to Bluetooth in some environments).
htsptInstant Hotspot allows the feature to automatically be enabled without any input, once you’ve set it up. First, you need to turn it on in iPhone Settings – it’s near the top of the list, under Cellular. Once you’ve done that, on your Mac (assuming your iPhone is in range) you simply choose the Wi-Fi menu, and the name of the iPhone, along with cellular signal strength and battery life, is shown.
Choose it, enter the password that’s displayed in your iPhone Settings as ‘Wi-Fi Password’ and you’re connected.

The wireless logo changes to show you have a Hotspot connection
The wireless logo changes to show you have a Hotspot connection

The wifi logo for the right-most wireless indicator at top left of your Mac screen changes to two linked hoops to indicate the connection.
You don’t need to enter that password again, making it a very handy and quick connection option. On your iPhone, a blue bar appears along the top to show you are connected. Before, you had to remember to disconnect once you’ve finished using it, or you’d use all your data up doing nothing, but Apple’s system now intelligently disconnects from Instant Hotspot when the tethered Mac or iPad is not using data, helping preserve battery life on the connected iPhone, since tethering can place a considerable drain on the handset.

3/ Personal Hotspot works for iPad too — It’s handy to get your non-sim iPad online wherever you are, too, sometimes. On iPad, the information is found in the Wi-Fi section of the iOS Settings app. With Instant Hotspot, users will no longer be required to enter a Wi-Fi password to tether with their iPhone. The system is secure because the credentials are authorised via your iCloud account. (On mine the option only appeared when Bluetooth was on.)

4/ Phone calls from your Mac — It might sound silly, but it’s surprisingly handy to be able to take, and make, phone calls directly from your Mac rather than scrabbling to get your iPhone out of your pocket.
To make a phone call from your Mac, just open Contacts and click on the phone handset by the phone number (your FaceTime must be activated and signed-in on your iPhone in Settings>FaceTime. FaceTime should be enabled on both devices with both your phone number and your AppleID – I had to sign out in FaceTime on my iPhone and sign back in to get it to work; Apple has support info on this process).

5/ Geek calls — If you’re of the more geeky variety of Mac user, here are two other ways to initiate phone calls from your Mac. Type tel://18007672775<phone number=”“18007672775″ “=””>in the url bar of Safari and press enter, or open Terminal and type:
open tel://17192662837(with your actual phone numbers, of course, not the example numbers above).