Skype calls are fun, especially given the quality of the mic/speaker hardware built into most currently offered Macs. You get hands-free calling, which is especially great if you’re already using your computer anyway. Not everyone has Skype, though, and even fewer people have Skypeout credit, which allows you to call standard mobile phones and landlines. Now there’s a way to call via your iPhone and a Bluetooth connection through your Mac, so you can get all the benefits of Skype (except for video) using your wireless minutes.
BluePhoneElite has previously supported a variety of other phones for Mac calling, but only this latest version brings the much-requested iPhone support to the table. It should work with both the 3G and the 3GS, though I’ve only been able to try it out using the latter. I should also note that I wasn’t able to get it to connect successfully with my iMac, though it worked with my Mac mini and my MacBook Pro. As Smoking Apples points out, it does appear to be a bit buggy in this release, but when it does work, it works simply and well.
I’m sure at least a few people will wonder aloud about why this is even useful, but trust me, as someone who spends the bulk of their day plopped firmly in front of at least one computer screen, the ability to field and make calls from the same device you’re working on, without undue use of your hands or even headset devices, sounds like quite the blessing. So far, BluePhoneElite does not support text messaging on the iPhone (though it does with other devices), so it falls just short of being the ultimate phone/computer work combo. It’s $25 for a full license, but a free 14-day trial ensures you’re not buying anything you can’t/won’t actually use.