Can an iPad Function Like an iPhone and Receive Calls?

Apple iPad displaying iOS 7.1 homescreen

Maybe you are wondering: can I use my iPad to make calls?

It’s your lucky day because the answer is yes. Using iPad like a phone is actually possible. Thanks to a nifty feature called Continuity, you can connect your iPhone to your iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and other Apple devices to make and receive phone calls.

Let this article serve as your guide on how to make calls from an iPad.

About Continuity

Continuity, a group of related features, allows your devices to work together to enable you to do more. Among these added capabilities are making and receiving phone calls without picking up your iPhone. According to Apple Support, Continuity lets users:

  • Start an email
  • Edit a document
  • Surf the web on a device
  • Unlock a Mac computer without typing a password
  • Activate iPhone hotspot without taking the phone from their pocket, and
  • Continue each of these tasks on another Apple device

This group of features includes Handoff, Universal Clipboard, iPhone Cellular Calls, SMS/MMS Messaging, Instant Hotspot, as well as Auto Unlock.

Making and Receiving Calls on iPad

Now, back to your burning question. Yes, since iOS 8.1’s release you can already make and accept calls from your iPad when your iPhone is stationed nearby. It’s important to keep your iPhone close in order to keep doing what you want to do on another machine.

To get started relaying calls from your iPhone to your iPad, both devices have to meet several requirements. They both have to run iOS 8.1 or later, be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and log into the same iCloud account or Apple ID.

Let’s get started and make this happen!

Enabling Call Relay on iPhone and iPad

To enable call relay on the two Apple devices, follow these instructions:

  1. On your iPhone, open Settings.
  2. Tap Phone > Calls on Other Devices.
  3. Flip the switch on next to Allow Calls on Other Devices.
  4. Next, flip the switch on next to the iPad being used.
  5. Move to the iPad you intend to use for the call relay. Open Settings on it.
  6. Tap FaceTime.
  7. Afterwards, flip the switch on next to Calls from iPhone.
  8. Whenever there’s a call, press the Answer button to pick up and have the conversation on your iPad.

Placing a Call on iPad via Contacts

The wonders of Apple technology also allow you to initiate a call on your iPad with call relay and your Contacts app. Follow these steps:

  1. On your iPad, open Contacts.
  2. Tap on the personal contact you intend to call.
  3. Tap the call button.

That’s it! You can now connect to anyone and have a call without parting with your iPad.

Placing a Call on iPad via Safari

Did you know that you can also make calls on your iPad through call relay and Safari? Here are the quick steps:

  1. On your iPad, launch Safari.
  2. Tap the address bar.
  3. Type in the location name you would like to call.
  4. Next, start the call by tapping the phone icon once the location comes up.

Placing a Call on iPad via FaceTime

It’s FaceTime this time. It’s the closest that the iPad can use as a comparison with the iPhone’s Phone app, capably making audio and video calls. Follow this easy guide:

  1. On your iPad, open FaceTime.
  2. If you are still not on the audio tab, tap Audio.
  3. Afterwards, tap the contact field.
  4. Type in the name or number of anyone you would like to call.
  5. Tap the phone button to initiate the call.

Did you know that there are other neat tricks you can use to make calls on your iPad? Try one of the following:

  • Skype – What could equate the popularity of this app in placing internet calls? Unlike FaceTime, Skype is not limited to people using iOS devices. It’s relatively easy and fuss-free to use it on your iPad; start by downloading it. The catch, however, is fees could apply when placing Skype calls. The good thing is you could stick to the perpetually free Skype-to-Skype calls.
  • Talkatone and Google Voice – Here’s a technique you can choose if you want to place a free call to anyone in the United States, regardless whether they use a particular service or not. Talkatone has joined forces with Google Voice to make it happen.

 For starters, remember that Google Voice is designed to give you just one phone number for all of your phones. Voice calls fielded within the service use your voice line, though, and apparently you cannot do that on an iPad. On the other hand, Talkatone is a free calling app that expands Google Voice by letting you make calls over the data line. In simple terms, you can use it with your iPad!

Set up this service with easy steps. First, go to Google Voice and add your Talkatone number to serve as a forwarding phone on your Google Voice account. Now, outgoing calls or text messages will show from your Talkatone phone number. Of course, you will need to have both apps on your device.

Bonus: How to Make SMS and MMS Messages on iPad

You can also take advantage of this feature not only on your iPad but also your Mac or iPod touch. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that every device involved is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Make sure that the Apple ID at the top of the screen is the same Apple ID being used for iMessage on your other device.
  3. For you to be reached by iMessage on your iPad, add a check to your phone number and email address. Do the same on your iPad.
  4. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding. Next, choose which devices to allow to send and receive text messages from your phone. In this case, this device is your iPad. If you’re not using two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, a verification code surfaces on each of your other devices. Make sure to enter that code on your iPhone.

If you are using your Mac, open Messages. Choose Messages > Preferences. Next, click Accounts and then select your iMessage account. Again, make sure that the Apple ID shown is the same one you are using on your other device. Finally, add a check to your phone number and email address.

Understandably, you are making a lot of back and forth when making and receiving calls across your Apple devices. The same is true when trying to make SMS and MMS messages on an Apple device other than your iPhone. These are cool and nifty tricks, but always make sure that your devices are in tiptop shape to perform well. Safe, reliable third-party programs such as a Mac repair tool can help you out.

In Summary

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you can never use your iPad like a phone. Thanks to Continuity and third-party apps, you can make and receive calls on your iPad. You can also send SMS and MMS messages as you please.

Observe the steps we outlined above and have fun while at it!

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