Q: I was at home with my iPhone in a different room and my iPad mini was on the table next to me. I heard a ring and opened the cover and somehow the call moved from my phone to my iPad. They called my number, not Skype or FaceTime.
This is the first time in its life I had a phone call on my mini. I didn’t know the mini was a phone. How did it receive a call? WIFI? How do I initiate calls on my mini?
A: That was really a few questions in one, but it’s all a related issue, so I think I can tackle it all.
Since the release of iOS 8, you can answer phone calls to your iPhone to your iPad or Mac running OSX Yosemite or newer. It’s called “Continuity.” Your devices have to have bluetooth on, be connected to the same wifi network and be logged into FaceTime (with the same iCloud account) for the transfer of phone calls to work.
So, your iPad isn’t a phone, per se, but it can use your iPhone connection to answer or place a call through your mobile number. To place a call from a connected device, just go to your contacts, and click on the call icon.
Sometimes this feature is mistakenly called “Handoff.” Handoff is a subset of Continuity. Handoff is the capability to transfer work in progress between Apple devices running iOS8 or OSX Yosemite or newer.
For example, you may be surfing the web and want to see a site that is not very easy to navigate from your iPhone, so you Handoff to your iPad. Or you may be working on a Pages document and want to Handoff to your iPhone to work on it during your commute home. This works with Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, and a few more. You don’t realize how handy it is until you start doing it.
Other features of Continuity include SMS synchronization and the ability to enable your iPhone as a hotspot. Using your iPhone (or SIM iPad) isn’t new. But Continuity allows your other connected devices to enable the hotspot, allowing you to leave your iPhone in your bag or across the room.
For more detailed information from Apple on Continuity and Handoff, please see their article here.