Work bet­ter across your de­vices

Dis­cover all six of Sierra’s Con­ti­nu­ity fea­tures

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Alan Stone­bridge

Con­ti­nu­ity is a group of six fea­tures that are avail­able in the lat­est ver­sions of iOS and macOS, and which pro­vide ex­tra con­ve­nience in cer­tain sce­nar­ios. Two of these fea­tures – Auto Un­lock and Uni­ver­sal Clip­board – are new in the lat­est ver­sions of Ap­ple’s op­er­at­ing sys­tems. With the for­mer of those switched on, when you wake your Mac it checks for your Ap­ple Watch nearby, and that the Watch is un­locked; if so, your Mac as­sumes it was you who woke it and skips its usual re­quest for your pass­word, tak­ing you straight to your desk­top.

Uni­ver­sal Clip­board recog­nises that you may in fact be us­ing more than one of your de­vices at the same time, and so its pur­pose is to en­able you to copy and paste text, im­ages or video from one de­vice to another just by us­ing the Clip­board as you nor­mally would. Other Con­ti­nu­ity fea­tures The re­main­ing four Hand­off fea­tures were added to Ap­ple’s op­er­at­ing sys­tems some time ago. How­ever, if you’ve been us­ing a Mac that pre­dates 2012 un­til re­cently, you won’t have had the lux­ury of en­joy­ing them (not with­out mess­ing around with your sys­tem, any­way). That’s be­cause Con­ti­nu­ity fea­tures re­quire a Mac with Blue­tooth 4.0, and even then not all mod­els are of­fi­cially com­pat­i­ble with it.

Hand­off pro­vides the abil­ity to move a task, such as com­pos­ing a mes­sage, work­ing on a spread­sheet or read­ing a web page, from one de­vice to another in one quick step.

Then there are Con­ti­nu­ity’s mo­bile phonere­lated fea­tures; mak­ing and re­ceiv­ing phone calls and send­ing and re­ceiv­ing SMS and MMS mes­sages from your Mac or other iOS de­vices when your iPhone is nearby.

If your call plan per­mits teth­er­ing, In­stant Hotspot gets your other de­vices on­line by pig­gy­back­ing on its mo­bile data con­nec­tion. Your non-Ap­ple de­vices can con­nect to the Wi-Fi hotspot broad­cast by your iPhone too. (The net­work’s pass­word is shown in Set­tings.)

All of the Con­ti­nu­ity fea­tures re­quire your par­tic­i­pat­ing de­vices to be signed in to your iCloud ac­count, as proof of your iden­tity. Most fea­tures also need Blue­tooth and Wi-Fi to be turned on, though not all need your de­vices to be on the same net­work; Hand­off and re­lay­ing phone calls do, Uni­ver­sal Clip­board doesn’t.

Read on to learn how to make it more con­ve­nient to use your de­vices to­gether.

All Con­ti­nu­ity fea­tures need par­tic­i­pat­ing de­vices to be signed in to the same iCloud ac­count

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