I wrote about a month ago about my travails getting Handoff and Continuity features to work on my Macs and iOS devices. With the exception of my MacBook Pro, which does not work at all with these features, all my other devices – my iMac, iPhone, iPad Air 2 and iPod touch – work. It’s clear that the problems are on Apple’s side; something to do with devices being correctly registered with their servers.
But now that they do work, so what? While these are certainly gee-whiz features – the ability to start an email on one device, then finish it on another; accessing a web page on one, then viewing it on another device – there’s really not much point. With the exception of text messages and phone calls, I think I’ve used these features about twice, not counting testing.
While these features are a good idea on paper, how often do you really want to start an email on your iPhone then finish it on your Mac? If your Mac is close enough for Handoff or Continuity to work (I still don’t know which is which; Apple should have just one name for these features), then you’d be more likely to start the email on the Mac.
The only times I’ve used it was when I was looking at a web page in the living room or bedroom, then realized I wanted to see it on my Mac, such as to order something. I went to my office, then accessed the web page. But I could have done that with iCloud Tabs, which works (more or less) well.
I really can’t imagine using these features with Pages or Numbers documents, because if I’m creating a document, and I’m near my Mac, then I want to use that. If I’m just editing or viewing a document, it often doesn’t matter which device I use. And since I store them either in iCloud or Dropbox, I can easily access them from any device.
So this is another example of a feature that looks good (remember the fast user switching cube animation, that Steve Jobs happily explained that they do it “because we can?”) but that really doesn’t have much real-world application. I wonder; do you, dear readers, use these features, other than for text messages and phone calls?