A Closer Look at 'Handoff' and Other New iOS 8/Yosemite 'Continuity' Features

During yesterday's WWDC keynote, Apple launched several new "Continuity" features to improve the cross-platform integration of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. One of the new abilities designed to allow better transitions from iOS devices to Macs is Handoff, which allows users to start a task on one device and swap to another nearby device.

As described by Apple, Handoff can be used for several different activities, including email and web browsing. Users can begin writing an email on an iPhone, for example, and then switch to a Mac to finish. Websites work similarly, allowing users to browse the web on one device, and then continue looking at the same website on another device. While this is already possible via iCloud Tabs, Handoff makes the entire process easier and extends the functionality to other apps.

handoffiosyosemite

We believe you should be able to use the right device for the moment. We want the transitions between these moments to be as absolutely natural and seamless as possible.

When you're working on your Mac, your devices around you in proximity are aware of each other and are aware of what you're up to.

As demoed during the keynote, iOS devices and Macs are "aware" of each other, and can pick up a task when nearby. When composing an email on a Mac, for example, users will see an icon on the screen of their iPad or iPhone that can be tapped to allow them to continue writing on the iOS device. Similarly, an iPhone near a Mac will cause the activity to automatically pop up on the Mac's dock, allowing for a seamless transition between devices.

Handoff currently works with the following Apple apps: Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts. There's also a Handoff API for developers, which will likely see Handoff capabilities added to a range of different apps.

The enhanced Continuity between OS X and iOS also allows Mac devices in close proximity to an iPhone to both place and receive calls, leveraging Bluetooth and WiFi with the iPhone serving as a relay. Users can answer a call made to their iPhone on their Mac, a useful feature when an iPhone is across the room charging or otherwise inaccessible.

During the keynote, Apple's software chief Craig Federighi used the calling feature to contact new Apple employee Dr. Dre on his Mac, demoing its ability to place calls.

Similarly, iPads and Macs are now able to receive SMS messages from non-Apple devices, a function previously limited to the iPhone. iPads and Macs are also able to utilize an "Instant Hotspot" feature that allows them to connect to an iPhone hotspot with just a click, and AirDrop is also cross-platform.

Currently, Handoff and the other Continuity enhancements are features limited to developers who are using both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, but it will be available to the general public in the fall after the official release of the new operating systems.

Top Rated Comments

Parise Avatar
88 months ago
Yet another feature taken from Android.

False. While you can send texts or make calls from Hangouts, you must do so using a Google Voice number. This utilizes your actual phone thus not requiring someone to have more than one number for you.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
88 months ago
Does the iPhone have to actually be paired to the Mac? Meaning that I can't use a Bluetooth speaker and use continuity? Or does Bluetooth just need to be on on both devices?
No pairing, it's almost certainly iBeacon based tied with iCloud.

----------

Yet another feature taken from Android.
What????:confused:


Where in the world does Android offer this? Sarcasm?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newagemac Avatar
88 months ago
These are the types of unique features that make being in the Apple ecosystem so nice. I can see Microsoft moving in this direction as well but it's going to be hard for Google/Android since they don't have the vertical integration, don't have much control of the final software, and don't have a major desktop OS to integrate with in the first place. With Chrome OS being a glorified web browser, they are still trying to catch up with Microsoft and Apple were doing decades ago on the desktop.

Really looking forward to seeing more integration between mobile device and desktop OS from Apple and Microsoft. This is the future and unfortunately it looks like Android is going to be left out of the party.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
88 months ago
Jeez, it was as around the time that Craig flung an email from his iPad to his Mac that I realized we're on the precipice of something that is going to be indispensable for posterity. "Believe it or not, your computer didn't always know when you had your phone with you… No, no, I'm not joking, guys, seriously!"
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Essex711 Avatar
88 months ago
Shibby

Really can't wait to try this feature out, I'm sure this will make some more Android users switch too.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
88 months ago
I hope this doesn't get all crazy confusing when you got your friend over or a are living with other people and their devices. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of little things popping on the corner when it's not my device.

It's gotta be tied to iCloud. Unless your computer has their Apple ID on it I don't think it'll be an issue.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iPad mini pro feature

Sketchy Rumor Claims 'iPad Mini Pro' Launching in Second Half of 2021

Wednesday March 3, 2021 3:04 am PST by
Apple is expected to launch a sixth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2021, possibly as soon as this March, based on long-standing rumors. However, a new rumor out of Asia that has gained traction in the last 24 hours suggests an "iPad mini Pro" will arrive in the second half of this year. According to a post on Korean blog Naver, whose rumor track record is unknown, the device...
apple pencil 3 leak

New Apple Pencil Allegedly Leaks With Glossy Finish and Redesigned Tip

Wednesday March 3, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Images supposedly depicting a third-generation Apple Pencil have been shared on Twitter by the leaker known as "Mr. White." The purported new Apple Pencil appears to share a very similar design to the current, second-generation Apple Pencil, which is shorter than the previous version and charges inductively on the side of an iPad. The updated Apple Pencil appears to have a glossy...
apple watch ecg wrist

Apple Watch ECG Feature Gets Approved in Australia

Wednesday March 3, 2021 2:07 am PST by
The Australian government has approved ECG functionality on the Apple Watch, giving Apple the all-clear to launch the feature for Apple Watch users in the country, according to a regulatory document first spotted by The 8-Bit. Earlier last month, the Apple Watch's irregular heart rhythm notification received approval in Australia, although ECG did not. Irregular heart rhythm is a feature...