Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Handoff to transfer content between an iPhone and a Mac, part of Mac OS X Yosemite New Features.
- Handoff brings seamless connectivity between a Mac computer and an iOS device like and 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 with a lot of tasks.
Now Handoff is an exciting new feature in OS X Yosemite, but you could also say it's a new feature in iOS 8. In order for this to work, you'll need a device with iOS 8 and you'll need a computer with Yosemite. You'll also need an iCloud account for this to work. So let's get a basic idea of what Handoff can do. If I open up Safari on my iPhone and I'm just browsing the web here I can be looking at any webpage, and let's say I want to finish reading this webpage on my computer. Well now if I look at my computer, down to the left of my dock I see a Handoff icon.
In this case it looks like the Safari icon. So if I click on this, it will load Safari and it will open the webpage that I had open on my phone. This works in both directions. So for example, on my computer let's say I go to a completely different website, I'll go to Wikipedia and I'll search for Sherlock Holmes. Let's say I want to finish reading this article on my iPhone on the go. Well now on my iPhone I have to start from the lock screen.
So I'll put my phone to sleep and then I'll wake it up to the lock screen, and now I see a Handoff icon in the bottom left of the screen. Again, it looks like the Safari icon. So I can swipe up, and it will load exactly the same webpage that I had open on my computer. This works with a lot of other apps. So for example, if I open up the map app on my phone and I'm looking at some location on my map, in this case I'm looking at Griffith Observatory, if I want to look at this same location on the maps application on my computer, well now I can jump over to my computer, and just to get it out of the way I'm going to quit Safari, and I can see the Handoff icon is down here on the dock.
This time it looks like the map application. If I click on that, it will launch maps and it will show me that exact same location. Let's take a look at this in the mail application. So I'm going to open up mail and I'm going to compose a new message. I'll write a message to my friend Gerick, and I'll type in a subject line. I can start typing my message, or I might have to leave the house and I want to finish this message on the go.
So now if I jump over to my phone, I'm going to put it into the sleep mode, I'll wake it up to the lock screen, and now I can see a Handoff icon for mail. If I swipe up on that the email draft will close on my computer and it will open up on my iPhone. I can finish writing that email here. Now this only works with iCloud email accounts. If you use a Gmail or Yahoo account or anything else that's not iCloud, it will not hand off your email messages, but it does work in both directions.
I'm going to delete this message, I'll compose a new message, and I'll just send this one to Gerick as well, write a completely different subject line, and I decide I want to finish this on my computer. Looking at my computer, I can see the mail icon is down here next to the dock. I click on that, it opens up mail, and the email draft will close on my phone and open up here on mail. Handoff works with a lot of different applications. It will work with the address book, it will work with the iWork applications, pages, keynote, and numbers, and it will also work with phone calls, text messages, and FaceTime calls, but those take a little bit more setup.
To learn all the details on how to set up Handoff, be sure to check out Mac OS X Yosemite Essential Training. But in general, all you need to do is log into an iCloud account on your computer and all of your iOS devices. Keep in mind that I've done all of this 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.