Apple has finally announced better features for OS X and iOS at today’s WWDC Keynote. The features, dubbed Handoff, will bring more continuity between iOS and OS X. Starting with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, users will now be able to do things like transfer phone calls to the Mac instead of taking the calls directly on their handsets.
By the time both iOS and OS X ship, Handoff will also let iOS users view and respond to text messages and calls received on their iPhone on the Mac, even if it’s not an iMessage or FaceTime Audio call. A notification will popup in OS X, and you’ll be able to answer a call or ignore it. Audio will play over the speaker (or headphones) and the built-in mic (or mic on your headphones) will let you use your Mac in a conference call mode.
Conversely, one can also create these calls and messages on the Mac, even if their iPhone is half-way across the office charging on a desk. The phone will act like an SMS and voice call hub for your Mac using Apple’s new Handoff technology.
Handoff will also make an appearance in Mail, and plenty of other applications across iOS and OS X. For instance, if you start an email on your iPhone, you will also be able to pick up where you left off on your iMac in a seamless fashion. Your Mac will display an app in your dock, and suggest you finish what you’re working on whereas iOS will display an icon in on your lock screen that you can swipe to open your files.
If you’re one to use tethering between your iPhone and iPad, you can also now use Handoff to create an instant hotspot between those two devices. As long as your iPad and iPhone is nearby, your can automatically connect, phasing out typing in a wi-fi password.
Finally, Apple has brought iOS-to-OS X and vice-versa AirDrop support. iPhone users can now easily AirDrop photos, videos, and other content directly to their Mac in by using the Finder’s built-in AirDrop tools. Previously, AirDrop was only available Mac-to-Mac and iOS-to-iOS.
iOS 8 and OS X will be available publicly in the Fall. Both operating systems will be available to developers and beta testers today.
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