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Apple's 'Continuity' Project Blends Use of Mac and iPhone

Rafe Needleman
Editorial Director, Yahoo Tech
Yahoo Tech

SAN FRANCISCO — At its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple announced “Continuity,” a collection of features that make it easy to switch between using a Mac and an iPhone.

First up: AirDrop will work between iOS and OS X devices. Any Apple device will be able to drop a file to any other device, assuming that it has the latest operating system. AirDrop was introduced last year and is a method for sharing files like photos and videos between devices over WiFi or Bluetooth.

In the new system, you will be able to move quickly from one device to another. For example, if you start an email on your iPhone, you can pick up work on it on your nearby Mac. You’ll get a little alert in your Dock that you can make the handoff.

While OS X has for a while allowed you to exchange text messages with iOS devices, the new Yosemite operating system will also allow you to read and send text messages from non-Apple devices — what Apple calls “your green bubble friends.”

The system uses the iPhone as a relay for messages, so your phone will have to be in proximity for this feature to work.

The relay functionality extends to phone calls, too. With the new system, you’ll be able to answer calls that come in to your iPhone on your Mac computer. You’ll also be able to place calls directly from your Mac, as long as your iPhone is in range. Again, the call will be routed through the phone; the Mac will be used as a remote speakerphone.

Finally, when your iPhone or cellular-equipped iPad is in close range to your Mac, the Mac will offer to set up the mobile device as an Internet hotspot immediately. No password or other setup will be required.

Yosemite arrives in the fall and will be free of charge.

Rafe Needleman can be reached at rafeneedleman@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @rafe​.