Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Handoff to transfer content to between an iPhone and a Mac, part of Mac OS X Yosemite Essential Training.
- Handoff is a feature that brings seamless connectivity between a Mac computer and an iOS device, like an iPhone or an iPad. The idea is that you'll be working on both your iPhone and your computer throughout the day, reading websites, composing email messages, receiving phone calls. Handoff gives you the ability to start a task on one device and pick up right where you left off on another device. You can start composing an email on your iPad but pick up and finish that same email message on your computer. Handoff works for a lot of tasks.
Let's start by seeing the basic idea of how this works. On my iPhone, I'm going to open up a webpage so I can just browse around on the internet, looking at whatever website I want to look at. Let's say I want to pick up on this webpage where I left off on my computer. Here on my computer, I can see a new icon has popped out right next to my dock. This is a Handoff icon. It looks like the Safari icon. If I click on this, it will open up Safari and it will load up exactly the same webpage that I was just looking at on my phone.
So I've handed this webpage off from my phone to my computer. Of course, this works in both directions. On my computer, I'm going to go to a completely different webpage. I'll go to Wikipedia. Let's say I want to go to the entry for Sherlock Holmes. I want to finish reading this Wikipedia article on my phone. On my phone, if I put it into the lock mode and then I wake it up to the lock screen, I'll see a Handoff icon at the bottom left corner of my screen.
It looks like the Safari logo. If I swipe up on that, it will load up exactly the same webpage that I had on my computer. Let's see what it takes to set this up. You will need an iCloud account for this to work. Now if you're not already familiar with the iCloud service, you should check out iCloud essential training before getting too deep into this. You should have an iCloud account or an existing Apple ID that you're ready to use for iCloud. If you do not already have a separate dedicated iCloud account, then you can use an existing Apple ID to log in to iCloud.
Again, this is all covered in iCloud essential training. On my computer, I want to make sure that I'm logged in to iCloud. For now, I'm just going to quit Safari and I'll go into system preferences. I'll go into the panel for iCloud. I just need to make sure that I am logged in to iCloud. I'm going to take a step back because I also need to make sure that I have Bluetooth turned on. I'll click on that. I can see that Bluetooth is turned on. In order for Handoff to work, both your iOS device and your computer have to have the Bluetooth LE standard.
This is the Bluetooth Low Energy Standard. So that means the first iPad in the iPad two will not work because they don't have that standard. The iPhone five and later will work just fine. The fifth generation iPad touch and later will work. To make sure that your computer has Bluetooth LE, just go to the Apple logo, click on "About This Mac". Go to system report. Under the category of hardware, find Bluetooth. From here, you're looking for this entry.
Bluetooth Low Energy supported. In my case, it says yes. If you don't see this listed or if it says no, then your computer will not support Handoff. Back to our setup. We made sure that iCloud was running. We made sure that Bluetooth is turned on. Of course, I have to make sure that my computer is connected to the internet. So I'll quit system preferences here. Now on my phone, I need to make sure of the same things. I'll go into settings. I wanna make sure that I am logged in to iCloud. That looks good.
I'll move up a little bit higher. I want to make sure that Bluetooth is turned on. In this case, it is. Of course, I'm connected to the internet. On your phone, there's one more thing you need to check. Under the category of general in your settings, there is a category for Handoff and Suggested Apps. If you tap on that, you just need to make sure that Handoff is turned on. Now this is on by default so you shouldn't have to change anything. You just need to confirm that it's on. Now, I'm all set for this to work.
What else can Handoff do? Well, it will work great with email messages. So here on my phone, if I open up my mail and I want to send an email to my friend Garrick. I'll compose a new email message and I'll type in his email address. I sent him some photos the other day so I want to see if he got this. I didn't hear back from him yet. So I'll write an email. The subject line will be photos. It's at this point where I realize I can actually continue writing this email on my computer.
Now if I look at my computer, I can see there's a Handoff icon for mail down here next to my dock. If I click on that, mail will launch. My email draft will close on my iPhone and it will open up on my computer and I can continue it from here. Let's see that in the other direction. On my iPhone, I'm just going to go to the home screen. On my computer, I'm going to close this draft. I'm not going to save it. I'll compose a new draft. I'll send this to Garrick as well. If I want to continue this email on my phone, I just move over to my phone.
I have to start from the lock screen. So I put my phone into the sleep mode. I'll wake it up to the lock screen. I can see the Handoff icon. This time it looks like the mail icon in the bottom left. I'll swipe that up. The email draft will close on my computer and it will open up on my phone. I'm going to cancel this and I'll just delete that draft. This will also work with a bunch of other applications. For example, if I open up maps. Here I am looking at a location on my maps on my phone. When I go to my computer, I can see the Handoff icon is there.
I'll quit mail to get that out of the way. Then I'll open up that map location Handoff and here I am in that same location. This also works with the address book. I'll open up my contacts here and here I am looking at the address book entry for Garrick. On my phone, I'll go into the lock screen. I'll wake it up. I can see the Handoff icon for the address book. I can swipe that up and it will open up my address book entry for Garrick and it will show me that right here.
Handoff works for a lot of other apps. It will work for the iWork applications, Numbers, Keynote, and Pages. It will work for phone calls, text messages, and even face time calls as well. But before those will work, we need to set up my computer to use my iPhone for cellphone calls. We'll be covering that in a separate movie in this chapter. By the end of that movie, we'll be able to use Handoff to answer incoming phone calls and reply to incoming text messages from my computer. Now keep in mind that I've done all of these between an iPhone and a computer but Handoff works just as well between two iPads or between an iPad and a computer or between any combination of multiple iOS devices and computers.
- Installing and running Mac OS X 10.10 for the first time
- Organizing your desktop
- Browsing file folders with Finder
- Creating, copying, moving, and renaming files and folders
- Launching and quitting applications from the Dock
- Using Dashboard Widgets and Mission Control
- Saving and searching
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Communicating with iMessage and FaceTime
- Using iTunes, QuickTime, and Maps
- Installing applications from the App Store
- Sharing over a network
- Backing up and restoring Mac OS X 10.10