Con­ti­nu­ity and Hand­off

Make your life eas­ier with Yosemite and iOS 8’s ma­jor fea­tures

Mac Format - - GET MORE FROM APPLE -

on­ti­nu­ity is Ap­ple’s name for a suite of ser­vices which al­low Yosemite and iOS 8 to work closely. It in­cor­po­rates Air­Drop, the abil­ity to make and re­ceive phone calls and text mes­sages on a Mac or iPad, and Hand­off.

Hand­off al­lows you to, say, start work­ing on a doc­u­ment on a Mac and con­tinue it seam­lessly on an iPad or iPhone, with­out ever hav­ing to close or save it or think about how to switch to an­other de­vice to carry on.

CHand­ing off a task

There's a guide to us­ing Hand­off be­low, but the ba­sics are straight­for­ward. When­ever a Hand­of­f­com­pat­i­ble app (which in­cludes many of the apps pre­in­stalled with iOS, the iWork suite, and some third-party apps) is open on an iOS 8 de­vice, that de­vice is on the same net­work as your Mac, both have Blue­tooth switched on, and they’re signed into the same iCloud ac­count, the app’s icon ap­pears to the left of the Mac’s Dock (pro­vided the Mac ver­sion of the app is in­stalled).

The other way around, with a com­pat­i­ble app run­ning on your Mac, and the above con­di­tions met, the app’s icon ap­pears on an iOS de­vice’s Lock screen or left­most in its app switcher.

Third-party apps with Hand­off sup­port in­clude Wun­derlist, Things, Pocket and iA Writer Pro. All of th­ese apps al­low you to swap be­tween a Mac and an iOS de­vice with­out sav­ing or sync­ing data. Mi­crosoft’s Yam­mer mes­sag­ing tool also sup­ports Hand­off, kind of – you can ‘hand off’ from an iOS de­vice to a Mac, but this opens Yam­mer in a web browser, not a na­tive app.

Hand­off is not just a new fea­ture, it’s an en­tirely new con­cept and that can make it a lit­tle con­fus­ing. Specif­i­cally, it sounds a lot like cloud sync­ing, where your doc­u­ments and data are pushed up to the cloud and then pushed to ev­ery de­vice linked to your ac­count. Many of us are familiar with this con­cept from email apps and tools like Ever­note and, lat­terly, Ap­ple’s iWork apps. But there’s a key dif­fer­ence be­tween Hand­off and sync­ing. When you switch be­tween de­vices where data has been synced, you need to open the rel­e­vant app on the sec­ond de­vice, lo­cate the doc­u­ment you were work­ing on, or the email mes­sage you saved as a draft, and then open it. With Hand­off, when you move from one

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