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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

OS X Yosemite: Continuity Quick Photo Dial App

With the release of OS X Yosemite from Apple last week it's been a few days of exploring all the different features that have been introduced into Apple's latest OS. I like the sleek new UI and Safari looks much better. Spotlight has had a facelift and seems to do so much more than it did before. But the feature that sticks out for me, is Continuity.

I really like the Continuity feature in OS X Yosemite with my iPhone 5. So I wanted to find a way of pulling together a way of quickly dialling numbers on my desktop without having to fire up FaceTime or use Spotlight.

One way of doing this is to create an Automator application which executes some very simple AppleScript so that when you double click the app on the desktop it dials the chosen number, here are some steps to re-create this:
  • Fire up Automator and Click "New Document"
  • Select "Application" and click "Choose"
  • In the search bar at the top left, type in "AppleScript", then double click "Run AppleScript"
  • This should add an entry into the right side, replace the pre-existing text with the following:
on run {input, parameters}  
open location "tel://XXXXX XXX XXX"  
return input 
end run
  • Replace the "XXXXX XXX XXX" with an actual phone number
  • Then click 'File", give your dialler a name like "Call Steve" then click "Save"
  • I recommend that you save it to your desktop and then close Automator
When you go to your desktop you will notice an Automator icon, just double click it and this should fire up FaceTime in the background, connect to your phone and ask you to confirm if you want to call the number.

There you go. Another way of using OS X's Continuity feature without using FaceTime or Contacts directly. I have several of these on my own desktop so I can just double click them and call important contacts quickly.

You could also create a folder of these and drag the folder into the icon bar at the bottom and create yourself a photo quick dial list. Very handy if you have multiple and don't want them littered all over your desktop.

I also changed the icons to be the same images at the contacts inside of the Contacts app.

  • If you fire the Contacts app up and find the contact that has the image you want
  • Just click "Edit" on the contacts picture and press "Command C" or Edit-> Copy from the menu bar.
  • If you then click the dialler shortcut on the desktop you created and press "Command i" a window should popup on the left (this is the file properties dialog)
  • Click the automator icon and once it highlights in blue, press "Command V".
  • This should set the Apps icon to the contact image you copied from your contacts.
Hope you find this useful.