One of the prime continuity features provided by Apple recently has been the Handoff option between OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. In simple words, Apple has shifted focus towards allowing content sharing between your iOS device and Mac for ease of work and user convenience. Of course, you have to setup Handoff in Mac, iPad, iPhone or other iOS devices across which you plan to work on similar apps or documents.
In this article, we shall review the Handoff feature, check out pre-requisites for Handoff usage in Apple devices, steps to enable Handoff function, etc.
The need for Handoff
Apple users are one of a kind as they cannot live without their Apple devices. So, you would most likely find them using a Mac at home, an iPhone or iPad on the move, a Mac or iPad at office, etc. Now, assume you are working on some document or perhaps composing an email on your iOS device while going back home. Suddenly, you realize you need to refer some data stored on your Mac at home to complete the email.
Now, with an activated Handoff feature, you would be able to seamlessly start working on the same email from your Mac at home without worrying about saving the email and waiting for sync with Mac. The same applies to various documents or useful Apple apps. It’s like continuing from where you left off on an altogether different device. The only common factor required across all devices is that you need to be using the same iCloud account along with Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy support.
Compatibility requirements for Handoff
Many Mac users face the query of how to identify if their Mac will support Handoff feature? The easiest way to identify this is by navigating to the Apple Menu through path About This Mac -> More Info -> System Report -> Bluetooth. Then, you simply have to ensure that the LMP version is 0x6 for Handoff to work. The LMP version 0x6 indicates Bluetooth 4.0 LE support which is a mandatory requirement for Handoff.
Handoff Compatible Mac devices
- Macbook Air (Mid-2012 or later)
- Macbook Pro (Mid-2012 or later)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- Mac Mini (Late 2012 or later)
- iMac (Late 2012 or later)
iOS devices compatible for Handoff
- iPad 4th Generation
- iPad Air
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Mini
- iPad Mini 3
- iPad Mini with Retina display
- iPod Touch 5th Generation
- iPhone 5 or later
Apps that work with Handoff
Steps to allow Handoff between iOS device and Mac
- Enable Wi-Fi and bluetooth on both devices and keep them near each other.
- Login to the same iCloud account on both devices (or all devices for which you want to enable this feature).
- Get both devices connected to internet through the same Wi-Fi network.
- You can activate Handoff on iOS device by navigating the path: Settings -> General -> Handoff & Suggested Apps. Finally, switch ON the Handoff option.
- You can enable Handoff on Mac by navigating the path: System Preferences -> General. Finally, tick the checkbox option “Allow Handoff between Mac and your iCloud devices” just below the “Recent items” field.
Once this feature is enabled on iOS 8 as well as Mac, you can make its optimum use by continuing work on same document or app in iOS device & Mac, on two different Mac systems (with same Apple ID account) or on two different iOS devices (with same iCloud account).
Thus, switching to and fro between such variety of device combinations, you can effectively carry out your work without wasting time on syncing two devices. The relevant Handoff icon is generally displayed at the bottom left corner of iOS devices like iPhone or iPad. Alternatively, it may also be displayed on the multi-task switcher.
To continue working on the Mac app from iPhone or iPad, you can simply click the icon to open it and start working. Some important activities that you can switch seamlessly between Mac and iOS device using Handoff are:
- Reading an important article
- Composing an email
- Editing / preparing some document
- Searching some location
- Making an appointment
- Setting a Reminder
- Editing expenses or similar stuff in a spreadsheet
Thus, Apple has come up with a great feature that allows smooth functioning across devices as long as you use the same Apple ID. May be next in line could be allowing Apple users to continue working on iTunes list across devices. However, that is for the future! Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the current Handoff functionalities and make the most out of it!