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7 cool new tricks every Apple user should know

7 cool new tricks every Apple user should know
Photo courtesy of shutterstock
Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com

Apple's recent updates to both its mobile operating system and its computer system not only give your iPhone, iPad and Mac computer new features, they also make it easier than ever to use them all together. Apple calls this integration between mobile gadgets and Mac computers as "Continuity."

In one obvious example of these new connections, some users have been startled when their Mac computer suddenly rings with an incoming phone call. More than once a friend has answered our phone calls with, "I didn't know it could do that," the first time her iPhone handed off a call to her Mac computer.

But Continuity does a lot more than just send phone calls to your Mac. In today's Apple Tip, we'll look at seven top tricks to using Apple's new operating systems both together and separately. From having all of your photos available across all of you gadgets, or starting an app task on one gadget and finishing on another, there are a lot of cool things you can do with these new capabilities.

Note: You need to have OS X Yosemite or El Capitan on your Mac and iOS 8 or 9 on your mobile gadget to make these work.

1. Handoff

Apple's Handoff feature allows you to seamlessly work on the same app and the same task on different Apple gear. For instance, if you started writing an email on your iPhone, you may now finish and send it from your iPad or Mac, provided they are within Bluetooth range of each other. Open a Safari webpage on one gadget and there it is available on your other devices.

Handoff works with your native Apple apps like Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Messages, Notes, Reminders, Safari, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Some third-party apps including New York Times and others are now or soon will be using Handoff.

To use Handoff, your Mac must have OS X Yosemite or later, and your iOS devices must have iOS 8 or 9. All of your gadgets must have Bluetooth turned on and be signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID.

To turn on Handoff:

  • On your Mac: Choose Apple menu>>System Preferences, click General, then select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.” (If you don’t see the option below “Recent items,” your Mac doesn’t support Handoff.)
  • On your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: Go to Settings>>General>>Handoff & Suggested Apps, then tap to turn on Handoff. (If you don’t see the option, your iOS device doesn’t support Handoff.)

Now, if you've started a project in an app on your iPhone or iPad, simply open the same app on your Mac to continue or press Command-Tab to find the document in progress.

To open up a Handoff on an iPhone or iPad, look for the icon of the app you're working in at the lower-left corner of the lock screen. Swipe up and you'll see your project in progress. If you aren't on the lock screen, double-press the Home button to bring up the multitasking view, and tap the banner at the bottom of the screen.

 Next page: Texting from your Mac  

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