Apple’s Continuity suite of iOS/Mac integration tools help blur the line between the company’s mobile platforms and the Mac — I use them a lot. There’s always room for improvement, though. Here are eight feature requests to make Continuity even better.
When you are working in a compatible application, Apple’s Handoff feature means you can begin working on a document on your iPhone and then continue to work on it on one of your other nearby Apple devices: Just tap the icon to open the same item on the other device.
That’s useful, but wouldn’t it be even more useful if the cursor position was also included in the sync? Right now, when you open the copy document you need to navigate to your previous cursor position. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just get working right away?
A Clipboard manager
I often use the feature that lets you copy something on one device and paste it using another, but its existence highlights one of the biggest missing features on the Mac: Clipboard holds only one item at a time. Isn’t it way past time Apple addressed this? If iCloud can support copy & paste between devices, then it can surely support multiple items inside the clipboard. Both Mac and iOS platforms would benefit from a more sophisticated Clipboard manager, enabling regularly used text, images, or multiple copy & paste items to be easily available across both platforms.
Music how you want it
Have you ever gotten so into a piece of music on your journey home that you’ve wanted to listen to it the moment you step through your door? Apple’s AirPlay lets you beam your track to any compatible device, but why can’t you just turn on your Apple TV to begin playing the music you want straight away from where you left off? Or have HomePod (delayed) play the rest of the track for you, or even iTunes on your Mac? Or be able to move between rooms with the content you are watching seamlessly following you on your devices?
Same for podcasts and radio
The same argument applies to podcasts and radio. Even movie playback supports this to some extent — when you play a movie on Apple TV it will offer to start from where you left off last time you watched it on your iPhone, for example. Podcasts, audiobooks and streamed on-demand radio shows seem obvious candidates for such support.
NB: In each of these cases, the flaw will be the size of the original media file and its availability on another device.
Handoff for calls and Facetime
I like being able to receive calls on my different Apple devices, but I do wish it were easier to switch between devices while already being engaged in a call. For example, I might want to pick up a call on an Apple Watch and continue to take that call on my Mac. The same applies to Facetime calls.
Et tu, Windows?
Not the most likely to happen suggestion, but Continuity for Windows? If you use an iPhone with Windows you probably already have an Apple ID for use with iTunes. Armed with that ID, you can already use iCloud services online. With that in mind, why isn’t it possible to provide some limited set of Windows-compatible Continuity features via an iCloud-based Windows app? Granted, this won’t be as slick or extensive an integration as we enjoy when using an all-Apple platform, but Windows users will certainly see some benefit from being able to share clipboard contents and some form of iPhone call integration. The technical problems around such implementation being that Continuity depends on Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi, not iCloud.
Oh, to be able to consistently delete both Apple and third-party app notification on the iPhone and see it deleted everywhere else.
A little Siri
“Hey Siri, could you open a copy of the email I was working on earlier on my iPad?”
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