If you’re running OS X Yosemite and upwards, you can receive (and send) SMSes on your Mac, through your iPhone. Based on my own research of asking people I know if they make use of this service, I feel like it’s such an under-utilised feature.
I personally love the convenience of not having my iPhone next to me while working on Mac, and receiving my OTPs or whatever notifications I require for online services. I hardly use it to send SMSes of course, it’s just the convenience of receiving it – and copying and pasting OTPs to proceed. Between doing that and accessing Whatsapp on my browser, it cuts down unnecessary fiddling with my phone and killing my battery. If I’m busy working, I’d be more inclined to reply to a Whatsapp message on my laptop too; otherwise I ignore my phone.
Sending and receiving SMSes on your Macbook works with the native Messages app.
Here’s the run down on how to set it up:
- Go into your iPhone Settings > Messages
- Scroll to Text Message Forwarding and turn it on
- Enable your Mac to receive it
- Open the Messages app on your Mac and it should give you a code
- Enter this code on your iPhone and ‘allow’
- You should be able to receive SMS/MMS on your Mac now (as well as iMessage obvs)
I also use the native Messages app for Google Talk, so everything (iMessages/iMessage groups/SMS/gtalk) appears neatly in one app/window.
If you have family members or friends who need Mac support, this is the best way to do it too. If both of you are logged into gtalk via Messages, you will notice a green video icon next to their name. If you’re the person who needs help, just right click (I have this enabled via a shortcut on my trackpad) and select “Invite to Share My Screen”.
If you are helping someone, you will have full access to their Mac, as if you are in front of it (well you are, virtually) to assist with any problem.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org