Work better across your devices
Discover all six of Sierra’s Continuity features
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