Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course
by Scholle McFarland

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Move Easily between Devices with Handoff

Use Handoff to move seamlessly between your Apple devices. For instance, say you start to write an email message on your Mac and then have to rush out the door for work. While you wait at the train station, finish composing the message on your iPhone. Or, say you start reading an article in Safari on your iPad and then want to finish on your iMac at the office. Apple says Handoff will let you pick up where you left off when using Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, and some third-party apps in Yosemite and iOS 8 .

① 	When you get back to your Mac, click the activity icon in your Dock to finish the email message you started on your iPhone or iPad.

① When you get back to your Mac, click the activity icon in your Dock to finish the email message you started on your iPhone or iPad.

The good news is that Handoff is truly convenient; the bad news is it may not work for you. Its hardware requirements are far more stringent than Yosemite and iOS 8’s.

Handoff Requirements

According to Apple, these devices can take advantage of Handoff :

② 	Lucky enough to have more than one Handoff-capable Mac? They can share, too.

② Lucky enough to have more than one Handoff-capable Mac? They can share, too.

Yes, that means if your Mac, iPhone, or iPad is more than a few years old, you are out of luck.

If your Mac is on this list, but doesn’t seem to work, choose Apple  > About This Mac. Click System Report and then select Bluetooth in the sidebar.

What you want to see is: Bluetooth Low Energy Supported: Yes; Handoff Supported: Yes . If you see the word No or don’t see a line for Handoff in System Report at all, your Mac does not support Handoff.

③ 	Does your Mac really support Handoff? Go to Apple  > About This Mac, click on System Report, and then select Bluetooth. You want to see what’s shown here (circled).

③ Does your Mac really support Handoff? Go to Apple  > About This Mac, click on System Report, and then select Bluetooth. You want to see what’s shown here (circled).

Get Set Up

  1. Turn on Bluetooth. On the Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and click the Turn Bluetooth On button . On an iOS device, tap Settings > Bluetooth and toggle the switch to On.
    ④ 	Click the Turn On Bluetooth button to enable Bluetooth on your Mac.

    ④ Click the Turn On Bluetooth button to enable Bluetooth on your Mac.

  2. Make sure Macs and iOS devices are all signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. On the Mac, you can check this in System Preferences > iCloud. On an iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud.
  3. Turn on Handoff on the Mac by going to System Preferences > General and checking the Allow Handoff between This Mac And Your iCloud Devices box .
    ⑤ 	On your Mac, make sure the Allow Handoff Between This Mac And Your iCloud Devices option (circled) is checked.

    ⑤ On your Mac, make sure the Allow Handoff Between This Mac And Your iCloud Devices option (circled) is checked.

  4. Turn on Handoff on an iOS device by tapping General > Handoff & Suggested Apps and toggling the Handoff switch to on.

Switch Devices

When you’re ready to move from one device to another, leave the app you’re using in the foreground. Then:

Results Will Vary

If you’re composing an email message, you’ll find your cursor where you left it when switching in Mail from one device to another. Likewise, Contacts opens to the card you were editing and Maps jumps to directions just looked up. Safari reloads the page you were reading, but data typed into forms, as well as your place on the page, is lost.

In my testing, Calendar and Messages didn’t remember much more than that I had been in the app.

Apple’s iWork suite—Pages, Keynote, and Numbers—was updated in mid-October to support Handoff.

Turn Handoff Off

To disable Handoff on your iOS devices, tap Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps and then toggle the Handoff switch to off.

To disable Handoff on your Mac, go to System Preferences > General, and uncheck the Allow Handoff between This Mac and Your iCloud Devices box.

Note: What’s the Application Switcher on a Mac? Read this Macworld article.

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