By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Apple unifies its various operating systems, iOS, watchOS and macOS through iCloud as well as with common features across their Photos, Messages and other shared apps. Continuity, which enables seamless transition of actions between devices is just going to get better as the various operating systems get updated this fall.
Apple has been steadfast in keeping iOS a mobile operating system and macOS a desktop system. The hardware does cross over to some extent, we now have iPad Pros that work like notebooks (with very similar capabilities and processing power), and MacBooks that are so thin and light that they’re as portable as iPads.
As far as the OS’s are concerned, however, there’s a palpable difference. Each are designed to make the most of the their designated form factors while offering some unity between apps that have versions on both platforms.
Apple makes things easier with the inclusion of Continuity features. Continuity makes it possible to determine what device a user is on and transfer a task over to that device.
Examples of Continuity are checking out a webpage on Safari on your iPhone and having this easily accessible on your iMac when you approach it. Same with typing a message or an email on your iPad and being able to finish it on your MacBook Air if it is nearby.
Continuity is getting beefed up across devices on iOS 10 and mac OS Sierra. There’s now a universal cut and paste feature, which means you can clip an image on your iPhone or iPad and simply press command-P (shortcut for paste) on a nearby Mac and have this populate your current app (without negating whatever is on your clipboard).
There’s also an Auto Unlock feature on watch OS 3.0 that uses proximity of Apple Watch to a Mac in order to automatically unlock it. This is a secure way to ensure quick access to a desktop without having to key in a password. As many Mac user’s know, Macs often require passwords for access, I probably enter my password between 15-30 times a day.
Apple Pay, which is the company’s huge global push towards mobile payments, has been in the news for its availability on Apple Watch and iPhones and now macOS Sierra devices will be getting the feature to work as well. This means when shopping online on your MacBook or iMac, you can opt to use your Apple Watch or nearby iPhone 6S or iPad to verify your identity and enable the sale.
The ability to make Apple devices talk to each other in an almost seamless and transparent fashion can help cement user loyalty, specially when these features are coming to older devices which can suddenly enjoy these features that allow them to share data and files, enable advanced control of their devices while ensuring security and encryption are paramount.