Apple today announced Continuity, a function of its new OS X Yosemite desktop operating system, which enables users to share basic iPhone functions that work seamlessly between iOS and Mac. Part of the new initiative is Handoff, which allows users to share phone calls, text messages, e-mails, documents, and almost everything else between devices—and not a moment too soon.

Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi explained how the process works with e-mails. He started an e-mail on an iMac and passed it along to be completed on the iPhone, instead of going through the typical method, which requires significantly more steps. Federighi demonstrated how Handoff allows a Web page open in Safari on a desktop to be instantly accessed from an iPad, simply by swiping up from the left side.

Continuity allows users to share text messages between devices so Mac users can see all their communications, not just iMessages from fellow iOS and Mac users. AirDrop also works between iOS devices and Macs, a long-sought feature. Many apps have been made to fix these missing features, such as PushBullet, Knock, DeskConnect, and others. Users should be pretty excited to see these features, though many should have shipped last year; it’s a bit of a shame that so many apps were created and released only to be made obsolete because there are now identical OS features.

Continuity also works with mobile hot spot setup. If a user’s iPhone/iPad is connected to a Mac via Bluetooth, a new hot spot on your iOS device is just a click away. No need to get up and set it on the device itself; the Mac does it all automatically.

Overall, Continuity and Handoff are a good start, but there’s plenty more that could be done. It’s also dangerous territory, however, if Apple doesn’t get it right on the first try – it could upset a lot of users, which is a good reason to have delayed starting for so long.

Which feature are you most excited about: Continuity or Handoff?


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