Talk to the Mac: Dialogue lets you make, receive and record phone calls over your Mac
You're typing away at your Mac, rushing to meet a deadline, when you hear your iPhone ringing. Rather than digging into your pocket to find the phone and fumble to answer it, wouldn't you rather just click an button on your Mac screen to answer the call? That's the concept behind Dialogue (US$6.99), a new app from Netherlands development firm Zebraa.
I had a chance to try Dialogue as a late beta, and I like what I found. The initial setup installs a small phone icon in your menu bar. Clicking on it displays a small dialogue box that is used on first launch to pair your Mac and iPhone. Once that easy process is done, the dialogue shows that your iPhone is connected and ready for calls.
When you receive an incoming call on your iPhone, a box appears on the Mac screen with caller ID information (if available) and Accept and Decline buttons. Click Accept, and the call is routed via Bluetooth to your Mac. Likewise, you can search for contacts on your Mac and call then with a click. Calls can be recorded as well, and saved as sound files for future reference.
I initially tried the app using my iMac's speaker and microphone, and wasn't too happy with the results. A quick talk with the developers noted that at this time, they recommend using a headset for listening to the conversation due to echoes. Zebraa is looking into adding better echo cancellation for a future version, but for now it's not too much of a hassle to wear a headset when talking to others.
I also ran into the occasional bug where I'd answer the phone and couldn't hear or speak to anyone, but I chalk that up to using a pre-release version of the app. As Dialogue finds its way into the wild, the developers will be able to quash the bugs they didn't find during the beta phase.
Dialogue is really a useful app for any Mac user/iPhone owner who spends a lot of time both on his or her Mac and on the phone. Check out the video below for a better idea of how exactly Dialogue works with your favorite smartphone.
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