Every now and then I come across a new Mac app and wonder to myself, “Why bother?” For example, any new notes app must do more than Apple’s built-in Notes app for OS X. Sadly, some don’t, but still have a price tag.
So it is with DockPhone, a somewhat unique Mac app which lets you make phone calls through your iPhone from the Mac’s Desktop. Wow. Cool, right? Except that much of the same functionality is already built-in to OS X Yosemite. All you need is an iPhone running iOS 8.x.
If you’re willing to part with 99-cents so your Mac can use the iPhone to dial and place phone calls, you’ll appreciate something in DockPhone.
I’m not sure what. But something. Maybe. You see, with an iPhone running iOS 8.x and a newer Mac running OS X Yosemite, it’s almost trivial to use the Mac to place a call through the iPhone.
In fact, it’s easy to answer incoming iPhone calls with your Mac, so you can keep the iPhone on the charging dock, plugged in, or in your pocket or bag.
DockPhone comes with a few differences. For example, you can type or speak any phone number or a name from your Contacts, and DockPhone will search the contacts or just dial the number.
Unfortunately, DockPhone does not come with a dial pad so you have to speak the number you want to call, or speak the name of the contact you want to call. I don’t know about your particular regional accent, but I’m from Brooklyn, NY and voice recognition on a Mac or any PC seems to prefer people from Nebraska.
All it takes for me to use my Mac to place a call through my iPhone is to click on the phone icon next to a name in Contacts. That doesn’t require as much effort as dictating a contact name or a phone number to place the call.
To help justify the initial 99-cent price tag, DockPhone comes with a Dashboard Widget so you can switch from what you’re doing, go straight to the Widget and place the call.
DockPhone has the same hardware and software requirements you’ll need to place a call through your iPhone from your Mac. The VoiceDial feature is nice, but the app still needs a dialpad so you can enter a phone number the old fashioned way.
Even with VoiceDial I have to ask myself the same question, “Why bother?” Most of the same functionality is built-in to OS X Yosemite and it works great with few clicks, little effort, and no extra cost.