How to Enable and Use Continuity, Handoff Features on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

One of the best new features on iOS and Mac is the ability to seamlessly switch between your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (5th generation). Continuity allows you to make and answer calls, send and receive text messages via your iPad, iPod touch (5th generation) and even your Mac. It also lets you pick up where you left off with supported apps and easily share a mobile Internet connection across Apple devices. If you compose a document in Pages or edit a photo on your Mac, you can continue it immediately from other Apple devices.
If your device supports Continuity, the feature is enabled by default. But if you haven't been able to use it yet, here's what you need and how it works.
What is Continuity
Continuity primary comprises these four features:
1. Handoff: The ability to pick up where you left off with apps. Whether it's wrapping up an unfinished message on Mail or a document in Pages, these automatically sync across Apple devices with Handoff. Third-party developers can add this feature to their apps too, though remember it won't work for third-party apps unless they have been explicitly updated to support Handoff across various devices.
2. Instant Hotspot: Lets your Apple devices share a mobile Internet connection easily. You don't need to enter a password to connect to the hotspot as long as your devices support this feature.
3. Phone calls: You can make and receive phone calls using any supported Apple device.
4. Text messages: In addition to sending iMessages like you always have, you can now also send and receive text messages using any supported Apple device.
Will it work on my Apple device?
Handoff and Instant Hotspot work on the following devices running iOS 8.1 or above:
1. iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus
2. iPhone 4s (only for sharing iPhone calls)
3. iPad (4th gen), iPad Air, iPad Air 2
4. iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3
5. iPod touch (5th generation)
And the following Macs running OS X Yosemite:
1. MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
2. MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
3. iMac (Late 2012 and later)
4. Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
5. Mac Pro (Late 2013)
The other Continuity features will run on any device that supports iOS 8.1 or OS X Yosemite.
How to setup Continuity
You need to ensure four things before you can use all Continuity features. These are:
1. All of your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
2. You have signed in to the same iCloud account on all your devices.
3. You've signed in to FaceTime using the same iCloud account on all devices.
4. Your devices are near each other and have Bluetooth switched on.
When you've done these things, Continuity will work because it is enabled by default. Here's how to manually enable all features, in case of any issues.
1. On your iOS device, go to Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps > On.
2. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > General > check Allow Handoff.
Once you've done this, and, say, you are composing an email on your iPhone and have the Mac nearby, Mail will show up in the Dock. Clicking on this will let you continue composing the email exactly where you left off without having to save a draft first on your iPhone, then finding it on the Mac and so on.
Conversely, if you start something on the Mac, an icon will pop up on your iPhone or iPad and you can tap it to quickly finish the task. At launch, Handoff works with Apple apps like Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts, but a host of third-party apps should add support soon.
Instant Hotspot
1. Settings > Personal Hotspot > On. You can do this on your iPhone or an iPad.
2. Now the mobile Internet connection will show up as a hotspot on your Apple devices. You can connect to it without entering the password, as long as you meet requirements like proximity and being signed in with the same Apple ID.
Phone calls and text messages
We've described this in detail here. You can follow the steps from that article.
If you're having issues with Continuity, you can check this Apple support page for some tips on how to fix your problem.
You can check out more tutorials in our How to section.