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Continuity

Continuity is an interesting development Apple has made that really ties the OS X and iOS ecosystems together.

Continuity allows you to make or take phone calls from your Mac using an iPhone. It does sound a little strange at first but it has a lot of potential. An example would be searching for a local business in Safari or Spotlight. If a phone number is found during the searching you can select it, the iPhone makes the call and the Mac is used as the speaker.

The reverse is also true. Incoming calls from your phone, assuming the phone and Mac are within range of each other, can be answered on the Mac. When you receive a call, a notification will be seen in Notification Center with options to accept and decline. Clicking accept will answer the phone call from your Mac.

The continuity technology is integrated into OS X Contacts, Calendar, Messages, and Safari applications.

Macs can now send SMS and MMS using Messages. This makes communication with non-iOS users easy.

Macs within WiFi range of an iPhone can use the phone as an instant hotspot.

Hand-Off
Continue composing email to/from desktop to iPad. Seen by notification on Mail's icon on the Dock.

Click on the Mail icon and the email being written is displayed on the Mac. The reverse way as seen as an icon in the lower left corner of the iOS device's lock screen.

A simple swipe up will display the partially written email.

The majority of the applications have this feature built-in: Calendar, Contacts, Keynote, Mail, Maps, Messages, Numbers, Pages, Reminders, and Safari. There are APIs available for third-party developers to add this feature to their own apps.

iCloud, Bluetooth, and WiFI are the baseline technologies used for Handoff. Proximity detection is used through Bluetooth, iCloud with Apple ID authentication secure the connection, and WiFI networking is used for the data transfer. If there is no Internet access, AirDrop can set-up an ad-hoc connection for the file transfer.

Hand-Off and Continuity could make a promising solution for a person that travels often.

As good as Hand-Off sounds, there is one thing to consider. It requires Bluetooth 4.0 and not all Macs or iOS devices have Bluetooth 4.0. Basically Mac mini 2011 and later, iMac 2012 and later, MacBook Air 2011 and later, MacBook Pro 2012 and later, and the Mac Pro 2013 are supported. We have made full a chart here.



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