iOS 8 Tip: How to use continuity features – Handoff, Phone Calls, SMS, and Instant Hotspot

This is an iOS 8 Tip: How to use continuity features – Handoff, Phone Calls, SMS, and Instant Hotspot. Continuity is one of the many great new features that comes with iOS 8. Continuity connects your devices like never before. There are 4 main components of continuity in iOS 8. Here is how to use each of these continuity features on your devices that all share a common Apple ID (iCloud) login.

iOS 8 Tip: How to use continuity features - Handoff, Phone Calls, SMS, and Instant Hotspot1. Handoff in iOS 8

Handoff in iOS 8 is designed to let you continue working at the same place you left off when switching from one device to another. For example, if you are composing an email on your iPhone but want to switch to your iPad, with Handoff, you can seamlessly do this. This works for most of the built-in Apple apps (Mail, Messages, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.) and developers will be adding the feature into 3rd party apps as well.

Here is how to enable and use Handoff. First, make sure that both devices have been upgraded to iOS 8 (and Mac OS X Yosemite when it comes out). Then, open up the Settings App and go to General –> Handoff and Suggested Apps. Make sure that Handoff is turned on. You have the option to enable My Apps and App Store which will allow app suggestions from the App Store based on your current location.

iOS 8 Tip: How to use continuity features - Handoff, Phone Calls, SMS, and Instant HotspotOnce Handoff has been enabled on all your devices, you can start using it. Try composing a new iMessage or a new email and watch for the respective app icon to appear in the bottom left corner of the lock screen of the other device. To use the Handoff feature, simply swipe up on this icon, enter your passcode if you have one, and then continue working at whatever place you left off from the previous device. Handoff will work with OS X Yosemite when it is released as well offering these same benefits and features that are already available in iOS 8.

2. Phone Calls from your iPad or Computer through your iPhone

IMG_1561This feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite is extremely useful. It allows you to make a phone call from your computer (when OS X Yosemite is released) or from your iPad by using your iPhone’s phone connection (note: both devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network for this feature to work). Here is an example: I needed to order some take out food from a nearby Thai restaurant. I looked up the menu on my iPad and then noticed a link to the phone number on the website. I tapped on the phone number on my iPad in Safari and a box appeared asking if I wanted to call the number. I tapped “Call” and I was greeted with a Speakerphone enabled call on my iPad that was using my iPhone’s cellular connection. It made it really easy to order my take out food.

This same feature will work on OS X Yosemite as well allowing you to make and receive calls right from your computer.

To enable this feature in iOS 8, open the Settings App and navigate to the FaceTime settings. Make sure both FaceTime and iPhone Cellular Calls are switched to on. Then, you can instantly turn your iPad or Computer into a Speakerphone.

3. SMS and MMS on iPad and Computer through your iPhone

This is another great feature of Continuity in iOS 8. With this feature, you not only have all of your iMessages synced between all of your devices, but you now can have SMS and MMS messages synced as well. This makes it all the easier to communicate with friends and family and anyone else that you send messages to or receive messages from. SMS and MMS messages will appear in green bubbles in the same way they appear on your iPhone while iMessages will continue to appear in blue bubbles. Unfortunately, this feature has been delayed on iOS 8, presumably until OS X Yosemite is released (hopefully in October 2014).

4. Instant Hotspot to give a data connection to your Computer and iPad through your iPhone

iOS 8 Tip: How to use continuity features - Handoff, Phone Calls, SMS, and Instant HotspotInstant Hotspot with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite allows you to seamlessly connect to your iPhone’s data connection if your are out of normal Wi-fi range. You don’t even need to manually enable the hotspot on your iPhone or enter a password on the other device to establish the connection. Since the Instant Hotspot feature is only available to devices that are logged into iCloud with the same Apple ID, it is completely secure.

To use the Instant Hotspot Feature, make sure that Handoff is turned on and that both devices share a common Apple ID login. Then, open up the Settings App on the device that needs to use the iPhone internet connection and tap on Wi-Fi. Select your iPhone from the list of available Personal Hotspots. Handoff in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will do the rest to establish a secure internet connection between both devices.

These are the 4 main components of Continuity in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. These features allow for increased ease of use when switching between multiple devices.



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