How can it be that there is no program to allow me to use Mac as speakerphone?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by radman2020, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. radman2020 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    The more I use my new 27" iMac with all bells and whistles, the more I am surprised by its limitations.

    Unlike my PC, it has no modem. I bought a USB modem which allows me to fax.

    However, there is no software that allows me to dial with my mac and use it as a speakerphone. This basic function was in all my PCs. Mac is supposed to be great for multimedia... yet there is no way to use this despite built in speakers and microphone.

    It is just so disappointing.

    Is there anyone out there who has seen a solution?
  2. CylonGlitch, Apr 23, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013

    CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Since most people no longer use modems, it isn't a functionality that everyone is looking for. But I can see where you may want it. Right, modems haven't been standard in PC's in a decade, most are addons these days. Not a problem, you obviously found a USB one. Now software. Again, it isn't standard software on a PC either, but I did find this one for the mac.

    Amego -- Looks like it should do what you want it to do.
    Hold-On -- Old and discontinued.
    iValet -- Third choice, looks nicest out of all.

    Good luck.
  3. radman2020 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    again, I am not sure where you get your info. Many people use modems for faxes. I, like many was sick of having faxes come in and using up all the ink in my fax printer. Instead, they come into my computer where I can choose to print or not.

    Yes, people out there still use faxes before you say nobody is using them.

    The first product you describe (Amego) does not do what I want. I have spoken with the developer. I will look into the second.

    In the meantime, I came up with a solution. Even though you think Windows doesn't support modems/telephony, it does. I have windows 7 running on Parallels on my imac. Sure enough, it has a built in program called Dialer.exe. I told it to look for my usb modem and it works.

    Once again, Windows comes to the rescue of my Mac. I have had this mac for several months now and I find no benefits over Windows. It isn't really simpler to use. It has corrupted itself already once. I lose functionality that I had on windows. My favorite programs Quicken and Proshow Producer do not run on it and are clearly the best programs in their class (Quicken has an eviscerated version for Mac that isn't worthwhile).

    I very much appreciate your help on this. Please though, don't assume all these tech features like DVD and fax/modems are things of the past. Not quite yet. VCRs and cassettes are gone... but there are plenty of individuals and businesses using DVDs and faxes. Again, it is arrogant of Apple to take away these functionalities when they deem them obsolete. It lets down those of us who pay a pretty penny for Apple technology.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, it's not arrogant. Apple has no obligation to support any technology, especially if they deem it's a technology that has diminishing demand. Apple makes what they want to make to satisfy what they anticipate will be the demands of most users. Their continued selling success indicates their methodology is working. It's up to the user to research and determine if a computer meets the user's needs before they buy.
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Modems? They still make modems? I thought they went the way of the DOS 3.1?
  6. radman2020 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    no obligation... well.... not supporting technology that people still use is not an obligation.. it is just bad business practice.

    look at their stock and you'll see how well they are responding to the marketplace.

    And yes...fax modems are still widely used. What isn't used are dial up modems for internet use.

    It is much preferable to have the computer act as fax rather than a stand alone device. And again, before you ask who is using everywhere use faxes. Only the very tech savvy can scan and pdf things by email.

    Apple can absolutely do what it wants.. but taking the dvd burner out to make a thinner imac when thinner has no practical benefit (as opposed to the dvd burner) was arrogant and definitely alienated users. Alienate too many and guess what.... your stock price falls! Luckily for them, Windows 8 sucks and people aren't using desktops as much anymore.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any informed investor knows their stock price is influenced by many factors that have nothing to do with how successful they are selling Macs, which continues at the rate of around a million Macs per month.
    Still, like VHS and even DVDs and CDs, it's a technology that doesn't have a growing future.
    There are many fax services online that will take incoming faxes and convert them to emails.
    Again, it has nothing to do with arrogance. It's purely a matter of anticipating demand and building products to meet that demand. Some users opposed removing optical drives, but obviously not enough to make a dent in Mac sales.
    Again, if you understood the factors that contribute to the stock price, you'd know it has nothing to do with alienating any buyers.
  8. radman2020 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    you sound like a fanboy.

    Yes, in the future they won't need dvd drives and faxes. But it is the present. People are using them. Taking them out for the future is a disservice.

    yes the stock is dependent on lots of things.. Like the iphone that is selling lots.. but lots less than anticipated because they have their head in the sand over the screen size.

    Fax services are complicated and expensive. Why pay for a service when I have a supercomputer at home that can handle it. I paid 3000 dollars for this computer and I don't want to pay for a fax service when the computer can easily handle it. A 100 dollar computer could do it! Why do you try to justify their decisions? Clearly there is a need for this. It costs them nothing to do some of this...that is why it is arrogant.

    Whatever. I just find that a company needs to balance the present with the future. It isn't like they are trying to shave the price down and need to get rid of some of these things. The price is double an equivalent PC, accounting for way more than the increased cost of some of the better components.

    I find it strange when people justify things for Apple... it is plain cultish.
  9. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    I run a business and we gave up our fax machine over four years ago and aside from the occasional gripe in the beginning, none of our clients/customers have a problem with it. The fax is nearly dead for the vast majority of people, and most people don't even use the fax capability of their all-in-one printers. We've setup many all-in-one devices and people usually do not use that capability, or if they enable ad connect it, find out that it's not used nearly as much (if at all) than they wanted. But there are still people that use fax machines and need that capability, and even wish to use their computers as answering systems.

    Get an external modem and software. I dare you to find a computer that comes with a modem as a factory installed device. Since broadband and home networking has become so predominant, even finding modems in your local store has been nearly impossible...

    Try to find floppy disks... They are just about dead too, and good riddance... Oh, and 'small' capacity hard drives! Looked for an 80g hard drive recently?

    So don't get a chip because time has marched on and things have passed you by. That's the industry...

    If I misunderstood your comments, I apologize...
  10. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    I think that a fax modem is something that almost nobody would ever use. Yes, there are exceptions, and some people would use it. But it is nowhere near the amount to even consider it it. It would add needless complication. Just because you might have a need for an old, obscure technology doesn't mean the rest of the world does.
  11. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I agree with your post, but as luck has it, today while stealing a garlic crusher in a Best Buy equivalent store in Berlin, I saw those 3.5" floppy disks (which aren't as floppy as those 5.25" ones though, coloured ones being sold in a box of ten. I haven't looked at the price though, as I was more interested to find some kind of hint on when they were produced on that box.

    But then again, the garlic press does work quite good, even though it is not one of those fancy ones that remove the stem or peel it while cutting the noodles.

    Btw, while the company I work for has a fax and it gets used sometimes, most of the time emails are used for correspondence or verification of orders or similar issues. But they still use those damn tree killing letters to send information and requests to other people.

    And to that research some young blood mentioned, why do that (not the mentioning, the actual act of research), when it is more fulfilling to fret about it afterwards?
  12. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    See, crime does not pay...unless you know what you're doing!:rolleyes:
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'm neither a fan nor a boy. I buy what meets my needs at a price I think is fair. If Apple's products meet that criteria, I buy them. If they don't, I buy something else. I don't depend on Apple to satisfy every need I have. They have to compete for my business, like any other company offering a product or service I may want or need.
    For many users, they don't need those things now. Like many others, I haven't needed fax capabilities for more than 5 years.
    Then those people should buy something that meets their needs.
    A disservice to whom? For the masses buying Apple computers today, it's obviously not dissuading them from buying.
    Again, there's a lot more to stock prices than screen size, fax capabilities and optical drives.
    Apparently, you haven't searched much: free fax receive service online - Google Search
    Why do you try to blame Apple for the fact that you bought a computer without knowing if it did everything you need it to do? You are responsible for your buying decisions, not Apple.
  14. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Yeah, but the did not have one of those fancy ones anyway, thus what was I to do? Go to another more fancy store? Na, the press is fine and replaces a very, very old one that has fulfilled its usefulness and can now be recycled as part for some second world motor concoction.
    But enough about the morality of garlic presses, I have not enough milk for all of you to not stink. On a similar note, my roommate was pleasantly surprised when I brought home some goat milk by not tasting at all like "goat milk". It was fresh, has recently been stolen (or as the goat sees it, given freely away while being sung to in French) just a mere hours ago and traveled 100 miles by train in my backpack.
    It was not much, only 500 ml, but getting that on a daily basis is quite astonishing.

    And if any of you think, the above is farbot like many of my other posts, think the frell again. Or get back to faxes and their usefulness in modern day society.
  15. jaminphx macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    I saw those too and am going to buy some but I think I'll wait for them to go on sale first. They gotta be on sale sometime soon, right?
  16. radman2020 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    all those free fax services aren't really free. It is always time limited or the like.

    To those that say that fax machines aren't used, your head is in the sand. Sure, many are moving away from faxes... but I work in the medical industry. Faxes are used all day long as documents are sent back and forth. It is certainly on its way out but slowly.

    How can you assert it is almost never used... it just isn't true.

    There is a big difference between dvds and floppy disks. Most people still have dvd players in their houses. Yes, netflix will one day be doing streaming only... but it isn't here yet.

    It is all degree folks. Using floppy disks or 80 mb hard drives as examples is ridiculous! We are talking about technology that is on its way out..but not nearly gone. Apple dropping it early definitely inconveniences users. If you have moved on already, that's great but don't speak for others.

    And yes, I have an external mac compatible fax modem. The software is blissfully still included in Mountain Lion.. you all are so apologetic for Apple that you are overdoing it for them! The software for using it for voice is not there...

    I know, you all don't use phones anymore... just your cell. There are still a few landlines in use.. but I guess we shouldn't talk about them because they are on the way out too... so we'll ignore all the users.

  17. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I do not know, but the USB 3.5" floppy disk drive was still expensive at 15 €. For 25 € more I could get an external and slim DVD writer from Samsung or some other less known company, and they can store about 464 to 3,263 to 5,902 times more information on a slightly larger, but less protected medium.

    And my current computer case (Fractal R4) does not even have a slot for an internal 3.5" floppy drive. Bastards, they only gave me two, still unused, though probably populated by a card reader or HDD or two in the future, empty 5.25" slots for those pesky optical disks.
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Some are indeed free. You have to shop around.
    I haven't said they aren't being used at all. For those who need such capabilities, do your homework before buying and make sure the computer you intend to buy meets that need.
    No one is claiming that no one uses faxes or landlines or DVDs or CDs... or even floppy disks. The fact that such things are still being sold confirms that they're still in use. What is inappropriate is to buy a DVR and blame the manufacturer that it doesn't play VHS tapes. It wasn't designed for that. If you want to play VHS tapes, buy the right equipment for that. If you require capabilities that a Mac doesn't provide, you shouldn't buy a Mac. It's that simple.

    I don't go to a Chinese restaurant and complain that they don't sell pizza. If I want pizza, I go to a restaurant that serves pizza.
  19. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    They dropped those modem connections quite a while ago, I remember having one on my 2004 iBook, but haven't seen one on their models since 2006 and the introduction of x86 based Macs using chips from Intel. That has been seven years ago, surely it has been missed by many, but they coped in a way or other, either by getting an external compatible modem or using an online service or actually abandoning faxes.

    Since you have figured this out now, all you have left to do now, is finding a working replacement for it, since prior research has not brought it up before the purchase or was not as thorough as you needed.

    There is no gain in damning Apple for not doing something you need. They do not cater to the individuals, they cater to the masses, and for most Apple product buyers it is enough.

    I have had my problems with the direction Apple is going too, but I found replacements and it is still working (for me it was Exposé and Spaces, which is lacking in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, but I got a good replacement for it (TotalSpaces) and it is working quite well on modern architecture).
  20. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    GGJstudios I normally agree with you close to 95% of the time. In this case however I have to disagree with you. I understand why they removed the ODD from the rMBP but removing it from the iMac gave us absolutely no benefit. They removed it for bragging rights, to say that they now have the thinnest AIO on the market. As far as I know there are still many (thousands?) of retailers that sell DVD’s and CD's. there are still plenty of software titles that are still available on DVD's.

    Recovery software still relies on creating and booting to a CD to work properly. The point is, there are still many uses for an ODD.
    I had saved up money to buy a top of the line iMac and when I saw what they introduced I sadly decided I was never going to buy one. I upgraded my PC for my Windows use and bought an rMBP. But as far as iMacs, sorry to say I'll probably never own. It's a shame really.
  21. Asuriyan, Apr 23, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013

    Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    I'm going to go out of my way and find arcane things to complain about.

    My MacBook Pro doesn't have a LPT1 port- how the hell am I going to connect my LaserJet 1000?!

    My iPhone doesn't have Push to Talk iDEN support? What the hell, Apple?

    My car doesn't have an 8 track player? How dare you snub the paying customer, Volvo?!

    My alarm clock doesn't have an FM radio? How on earth am I going to listen to music?

    I have to buy a digital converter box to watch Fox with rabbit ears on my HDTV? That's the last straw, I'm becoming a hermit.

    Light hearted fun aside, try Google Voice and the phone plug in for Gmail. I use my computer as a speakerphone quite regularly. Even has its own phone number, and it's free. People seem to have made enough suggestions about the faxing side of the issue.
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Actually, you can use the Recovery Partition to restore without ever needing an optical drive.
    That's quite true, and for those that require an ODD, they can make an informed decision to buy a computer equipped with one, or buy an external ODD.
    You prove my point exactly. As a responsible buyer, you knew what your requirements were and looked at the specs available and made an informed decision not to buy.
  23. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Yes for certain things you can. But I'm talking about recovering a dead hard drive and other tasks you would need a CD for.
    Yes true again, but the point of an AIO is to have ALL IN ONE. I don't want another cable and box sitting on my desk if I don't have to.
    Not really. I want an iMac. I want it for OSX, the build, the material and style. I think you'll agree we look at out computers straight on and the only time we see the side is when we move it or walk into the room.

    I'm not saying that they should have kept it all forever. I just think it's about 1 to 2 years to early. But beyond even that, there is NO benefit to making it that much thinner. There just isn't. They could have left all the features alone, added USB 3.), Thunderbolt, they could have made it a bit thinner, they could have improved the base to lower or raise it, they could have made the chin a lot smaller and they would have sold as many if not more than this new design. This is one case that Apple went with form over function.

    And if you notice they released the rMBP without all the features of the older and current cMBP but yet they kept the cMBP for those folks who still need those features. With the iMac it was a big "screw you" if you don't like it don't buy it. They didn't even give us a choice. To be honest I felt like I was being talked down to when Schiller said something to the effect "Too bad for those that want to live in the past". I'm paraphrasing of course, but I think that it was insulting. It showed a lot less class that what Apple used to exude.
  24. takeshi74, Apr 24, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Pot, kettle. You're assuming that your specific needs are shared with the majority. That's clearly not the case. As has been stated before in this thread, it's your responsibility to ensure that your niche needs are met. Apple has a track record of dropping legacy stuff early on whether it's floppy drives, legacy ports, optical drives, etc. Not sure why you're expecting anything different today.

    Regardless of what Apple does it's still every shopper's responsibility to ensure that his/her needs are met before buying. Same goes for any product out there.

    ...and it's not arrogant for you to assume that you should be the one that dictates what is or isn't obsolete? If you're claiming that there is a critical mass of people that require fax services then how many are there out there? What percentage of the Mac user market do they comprise? Where are the numbers that show the massive drop in sales when Apple dropped support for this? It sounds like you're just extrapolating based on your specific needs. That, by definition, is arrogant.

    You're confusing realistic with "Apple apologist/fanboy/cultist/whatever". The same reasoning would apply regardless of the product or manufacturer. If one has a niche need not met by a mass produced product then it's up to that person to find solutions to meet that need. Faxing isn't something demanded by the masses.

    You can lash out and and call people that don't agree with you names all you want but I'm not an Apple apologist/fanboy/cultist just for disagreeing with you. I'd say the same thing for any mass produced product if you have a niche need that isn't met by the product.

    I could gripe about the "arrogance" of car manufacturers that don't make performance-oriented, manual transmission cars but it's fairly pointless IMO. I find it more productive to shop for what I need and want.
  25. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Plenty of online services that can replace faxes. I've been using one for years. It can send to faxes and receive them from one. Not sure I get your beef.

    But seriously, just return your ****ing iMac. If you'd like us to help you troubleshoot stuff, fine, but don't buy a Mac and then spend your time on a Mac help site bitching about it.

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