Keypad while in Mac FaceTime call

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team
macOS and Mac Apps

In our continuing discussion of how to make FaceTime calls on the Mac, I recently made a call that wanted me to press 1 for this and press 2 for that. If you've never done this with FaceTime on a Mac, you're in for a real adventure.

The obvious way to do it - simply pressing a key from the number row or NumPad, does not work. You must find the enigmatically labeled "toggle button" in the non-standard call window and select it. This opens something like a NumPad that you can VO+Arrow through, though the ordering seems to have been determined randomly as if a monkey threw digits into the air. When you do eventually happen to come across the number you're looking for, you can select it as usual (VO+Space).

When it was time for me to end the call, I figured I could select the End button. I brought up the Item Chooser (VO+I), found the End button, and jumped to it, but nothing happened when I selected it. Turns out focus was not on the End button. I tried Item Chooser again and got the same results - it was placing focus on some other control. I had to VO+Arrow around a few times before I eventually found, and could select, the End button.

Shaking head. Baffled as to why this is so challenging.



Submitted by Herbie Allen on Monday, April 12, 2021

In Big Sur, you can do Command Q or Command W to close calls. Command Closes immediately with out any end buttons.

Submitted by Pa. Joe on Monday, April 12, 2021

Back in 2016 when I first started using a mac, I could input numbers from the number row. After some update later that ability disappeared. I complained about it a couple of times, but nothing happened.

Submitted by Marc on Monday, April 12, 2021

Full Disclosure: I own both Mac and Windows computers and use VoiceOver, Jaws, NVDA, etc. Please don't come at me with pitchforks raised.

The example given above by Paul is why so many people are frustrated specifically with the VoiceOver experience on the Mac operating system. I find that in various situations with Mac and VoiceOver, the user interface and the steps to follow are inconsistent. At least with VoiceOver in iOS, this appears to be much less of an issue. If any Apple product managers are out there reading Applevis, this is one example of why VoiceOver users are frustrated.

Submitted by Christopher on Monday, April 12, 2021

To me, maybe I'm weird, but I actually found toggling the keypad on/off made sense. In iOS, it's the same way. You can toggle on or off the keypad with the hide button. I agree that button on the mac side needs definitely by Apple to be labeled, as until I activated it, I didn't realize what it was. When I did figure it out, I waz like, oh. Duh? That said, maybe I'm misunderstanding a bit here, but for me, as long as that button is in the selected status, and is enabled, I'm then able to hit numbers on the number row, and it works. Could it be, if you were trying with the numpad and it wasn't taking your input yet the keypad button was enabled, that maybe you had numpad commander turned on, as if that was the case, or if your num lock was off, then no. It won't work. Those are the only 2 possibilities short of you not having the window in focus, and not having the keypad activated that I can think may be causing this to not work.

I admit Facetime needs a crapload of work on the mac side of things, but once you understand what's happening, and why, it kind of actually makes a bit of sense.

Command+Q works as long as FaceTime has focus. The non-standard call window seems to somehow be distinct from FaceTime, part of FaceTime and yet at the same time not part of FaceTime but rather part of Notifications. If I have focus in that window, or in any other app, Command+Q most assuredly does not end a call.

As discussed in other AppleVis threads, what we need is a context sensitive hot key, much like the two-finger double tap gesture on iOS. If in a call, this hotkey key would end the call regardless of what window has focus. But Mac OS doesn't have this feature.

> Full Disclosure: I own both Mac and Windows computers and use VoiceOver, Jaws, NVDA, etc. Please don't come at me with pitchforks raised.

No worries. Computers are computers.

You're right that iOS plus VO beats Mac OS plus VO when it comes to consistency. While Mac OS has always had some issues, Big Sur has exacerbated the problem. Every app and tool seems to have its own special way of doing even common tasks; see my recent thread on how difficult it has become to delete a text message conversation, for example.