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Apple’s ecosystem provides a platform where devices work together seamlessly. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 take this a step further with Continuity. Continuity encompasses a suite of features, such as AirDrop, Handoff, Instant Hotspot and more.
Handoff is a new ecosystem-wide feature which allows users to resume using an app on a different device. For example, if you are working on a spreadsheet in Numbers on your Mac, you can pick up your iPad and continue working on it. Simply swipe up on the Numbers icon on the lock screen, and your spreadsheet is right there. Handoff works in both directions. You could be writing an email on your iPhone and then seamlessly switch over to your Mac. OS X Yosemite displays an iPhone icon on the left of the dock. Clicking on the icon hands off the activity to your Mac.
Continuity can do more than resume the state of apps. AirDrop now allows users to transfer files between iOS and OS X. This could be done previously using iTunes and WiFi sync, but it was a clumsy process compared to AirDrop.
Instant Hotspot is a new, easy way to use your iPhone or iPad as a WiFi hotspot. This was always possible, but the process involved picking up your iPhone, setting up the hotspot, and then connecting your Mac. Instant Hotspot works without touching your iPhone or iPad. One simply clicks the WiFi icon on the top menu bar, and the network-connected iPhone or iPad is listed as an option. You can connect to your iOS device’s WiFi hotspot instantly, even if it is in another room.
Continuity also allows non-Apple users to send iMessages to the Mac or iPad. Previously, these users would show up on your iPhone only. Continuity allows your iPhone to relay these non-Apple users’ messages to your other devices. This means you can now accept SMS messages on your Mac or iPad.
The coolest Continuity feature is the ability to pick up phone calls on your Mac. When you receive a call on your iPhone, a notification will show up on your Mac. You can take the call directly on your Mac, using it as a speakerphone. Similar systems have existed on other platforms, however, they were never integrated so elegantly and seamlessly, and without any additional configuration. Yosemite also brings calling capabilities to the Mac. You can make phone calls from Contacts and web pages, directly on your Mac, using your iPhone (as a relay) or FaceTime Audio.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite is a huge leap forward. Building on Mavericks, the new Mac operating system tightens the Apple ecosystem’s integration. It’s amazing to see how all of the devices work together seamlessly. The new Mac operating system will be released in the fall of 2014. OS X Yosemite is compatible with any Mac that can run Mavericks:
- iMac (mid-2007 or later)
- Mac Mini (early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (early 2008 or later)
- MacBook (13″ aluminum, late 2008), (13″, early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Air (late 2008 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13″, mid-2009 or later), (15″, mid 2007 or later), (17″, late 2007 or later)
- Xserve (early 2009)
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