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

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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.

    Article Link: A Closer Look at 'Handoff' and Other New iOS 8/Yosemite 'Continuity' Features
  2. macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2012

    Really can't wait to try this feature out, I'm sure this will make some more Android users switch too.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    Phone calls on iPad

    So I can SMS on my iPad, but not do phone calls?

  4. macrumors 68040

    Dec 13, 2004
    How is the information transmitted from laptop to iphone, etc? Locally over wifi or bluetooth...or over the internet with iCloud?
  5. macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2011
    Minimum hardware requirements? Both platforms?

  6. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    I'm pretty sure the proximity sensing is Bluetooth based (its a function of iBeacon) and the current app state is handled over iCloud.

    After all, they gotta find something to do with those MASSIVE data centers they've built. ;)
  7. macrumors regular

    May 5, 2011
    Costa Rica
  8. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    I can almost guarantee you'll need a system with Bluetooth 4.0, which means I won't be able to use it on my 2009 MBP...time to get serious about saving up for a new machine.
  9. macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    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.
  10. macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2006
    Woodland Hills
    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.
  11. blackboxxx, Jun 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014

    macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    Does continuity require Bluetooth LE, or will it work with all Macs that support AirDrop?

    My gut feeling is that Apple will restrict Handoff only to 2012+ Macs, just like they did with AirPlay mirroring in ML.
  12. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    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.
  13. macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2009
    One generation newer than what you own.
  14. macrumors 68040

    Dec 13, 2004
    Kind of kills the feature for business use then, as many businesses don't want their data going through external servers. Would be better if it worked like airdrop and used wifi/bluetooth.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Dec 9, 2008
    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!"
  16. macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2012
    So the call and SMS feature requires Bluetooth to be on on my iphone?
  17. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    Well that's where all of the Enterprise enhancements come into play.

    The BYOD "revolution" is only going to continue to pick up steam.
  18. macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    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?
  19. macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2007
    If it does require bluetooth 4, i wonder if a cheap USB bluetooth dongle would work....
  20. macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2012
    Does it really work?

    I'm on both iOS 8 and Yosemite - continuity isn't working.

    SMSs across everything (iPad and Mac) have worked flawlessly - no fiddling or anything (very Apple-like).

    Phone calls, on the other hand, were very temperamental - understandable as these are betas, but I at least could get it to work by simply doing it a number of times. Still, no fiddling, just more tries.

    However, "Hand off" for emails, websites, and ANYTHING (I've even installed all the iWork - Pages, Keynote, Numbers - betas on my iOS devices) don't work. Nothing. No light at the end of the tunnel. Is it working for anyone else (and if so, did you do anything to get it to work) or is it just a "beta issue"?

  21. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    Looks like some interesting things to come with Yosemite & IOS 8. I am sure this is a feature that will come in handy for me.
  22. macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2007
  23. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    No pairing, it's almost certainly iBeacon based tied with iCloud.



    Where in the world does Android offer this? Sarcasm?
  24. macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2013
    I'm assuming it will only do it if the iOS device and the Mac are using the same Apple ID, but I could be wrong...
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2012
    Orlando, FL
    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.

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