Continuity Breaks Free from WiFi in iOS 9

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When iOS 9 is released this fall you'll be able to answer phone calls on your iPad or Mac even if you left your iPhone at home. Continuity, the feature that currently lets you make and answer calls from most of your Apple devices on the same network, will add the ability to do the same over a cellular connection, and that means forgetting your iPhone when you go to the coffee shop won't lead to missed calls.

iOS lets you answer calls from your iPad or Mac when you forget your iPhone at homeiOS lets you answer calls from your iPad or Mac when you forget your iPhone at home

Freeing devices from being on the same WiFi network adds a new flexibility to the devices we take out of the office or our homes. Currently, our iPhones are a sort of communication nexus or hub, but only when the iPads and Macs they link to are on the same network. Once that connection is gone, our devices are essentially isolated from each other.

Continuity's new cellular support is already working in the beta version of iOS 9 available to developers, and presumably will still be working when the public beta rolls out in July.

The catch is that cell service providers have to support the feature, and so far only T-Mobile has said it will. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint will likely follow suit although they may very well drag their feet, just as they have done with supporting cellular calls over WiFi.

iOS 9 was unveiled on Monday during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote event. The update will be free and available this fall with support every device capable of running iOS 8.

[Thanks to The Verge for the heads up]

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Most people carry their iPhone everywhere they go, but Continuity over cellular will still be a big deal because it means you'll have your mobile-based communication hub available all the time instead of only when all your devices are on the same network.

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Right now a call comes into my iPhone and I can answer on my iPad but only if they are on the same WiFi network, (the phone in the kitchen and I’m in the living room with the Pad for example).
So what does this mean? Say I leave my phone at home and take the Pad to work. A call comes in. Will it ring on my iPad if they are both connected to different WiFi networks? Does the iPad have to have Cellular built in?
I’m just not clear on what this means.

Jeff Gamet

It means that as long as your iPad or Mac has an Internet connection via cellular data or WiFi they can receive calls from your iPhone even when it isn’t on the same WiFi network.

Here’s an example of where this could be handy: Let’s say I want to hang out at my local coffee shop, but my iPhone battery is nearly dead. I can plug in my phone at home, then walk over to the coffee shop with my iPad. If I get any calls, they’ll ring through to me on my iPad because it’s on the coffee shop’s WiFi network. No missed calls!


Cool, This is great news. I might just leave my phone at home all the time. I have my iPad with me all day anyway.



Interesting, but the AppleWatch still needs the iPhone to be on the same wifi network so I still have to carry my phone around with me anyway.

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