Continuity will bring calls and texts over cellular connections in iOS 9

Thanks to a change that eliminates the need to be on the same Wi-Fi network to use Continuity, it looks like users will be able to make and receive calls and texts on their Mac or iPad over a cellular connection with iOS 9. This will require the support of carriers, and T-Mobile is confirming that the feature is currently working with its network in the iOS 9 beta. From The Verge:

...But one requirement of using Continuity is that both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network.With iOS 9, that's set to change, and T-Mobile wants the world to know it's the first major US carrier to offer Continuity through its cellular network. Your iPhone won't need any Wi-Fi connection to pass off calls and text conversations to your Mac or iPad, though obviously the latter two devices will still need to be online for this to work.

With the ability to respond to calls and texts even if you leave your phone at home, one can't deny that this is a bit of a game-changer for Continuity's usefulness. While T-Mobile is the first to roll out support for the feature (while iOS 9 is in beta form, no less), it's hard to imagine that the other carriers are far behind. It's unclear if they may add support during the beta, or sometime after iOS 9 goes live.

Source: The Verge

  • If Continuity works across cellular, hopefully that means that when the watch eventually gets a cellular chip we can use one phone number for all devices.
    As far as I know, any current watch with cellular requires its own phone number. I'd much rather my cellular-enabled watch use the same number as my phone. That would be great...if it happens.
  • My coworker just got a Gear S or whatever it's called, the one with 3G built in. He did mention it has its own phone number. He mentioned that when BT connection is lost / out of range, it switches over to the 3G connection for phone-watch comms including phone call handoff.
    I agree with you though, that Apple could probably do it without an actual phone number, like the iPads, but it will likely still require an additional "line" from your service provider. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yeah, I'd pretty much count on having to pay the carrier a little extra to use the Watch when it gets a cellular chip. They're probably drooling at the thought of that extra income.
  • LMAO!
  • I don't get this what does this mean? Sent from the iMore App
  • In iOS8, you can place or receive a phone call on your Mac or iPad, for instance, as long as your iPhone is on the same WiFi network as your Mac and iPad.
    According to this article, in iOS9, your phone can be anywhere outside the WiFi network to which your Mac and iPad are connected and still be able to place and receive calls on those devices as long as they're online.
  • How?!? Sent from the iMore App
  • If you're asking how to do this currently...
  • Apple is now hiring voodoo priests. LOL, no but this feature is so frekin nice.
  • It means you no longer need to have your phone with you to receive calls on Mac and iPad.
  • No you'll still need the phone with you, right. Just not on the same wifi. Sent from the iMore App
  • Verizon will support this in 2020.
  • I wonder if your phone still has to be on for this feature to work. For example my phone is dead but I don't have a charger. Can I just fire up my Mac connect to a network and be able to make calls. Also say my phone is connected to a different wifi network but I still have both on me. If I answer a call on my Mac can I switch to my phone that's connected to a different wifi network? Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm pretty sure your phone will have to be on, otherwise why not just sell iMacs and MacBooks that do it all and just add them to your carrier account for $10/mo?
  • Is this going to be done with peer-to-peer connections between devices or will it be server based? Peer-to-peer may not work with all provider networks. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Hope there's a choice on this. Just in case AT&T doesn't sign on to this I'd like to still use it. I literally stopped using my phone to text or make calls when I'm in my house using my Mac instead.
  • Am I the only one who feels like apple always had the ability to do things like this but rather drag it out instead and call it "magical" and "Revolutionary"?
  • In this case, it isn't so much Apple alone as they found someone willing to embrace calling over multiple devices using Wi-Fi like T-Mobile.
  • Yeah, well, the "experts" state Apple is taking their time to "get it right", but that is hardly ever the case. Sometimes it's barely as good as what others have produced years ahead. Oh well, grass is always greener... Sent from the iMore App
  • I think it should be noted that getting SMS messages on other devices already works without having to be on the same wifi network, the additional features only apply to calling.
  • Was thinking the same thing. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is a nice new feature, although the chance that a person will leave their iPhone at home is slim to none. Sent from the iMore App
  • If I could be reached on my watch while out for a run or bike ride, I would def leave my phone. Sent from the iMore App
  • I can only see this being useful if you have a Cellular iPad and you're using it out and about and don't want to have to handle your phone (with a BT Headset, of course). Other than that, what's the use case? Obvious evolution of the service, though I wish they'd have at least done something about AirDrop and it's unreliability (thought it would be useful, turns out it's so unreliable that I actively seek out solutions before I settle for it) - or just let us use BT File Transfer from/to iDevices.
  • Verizon and AT&T won't do it. If they would it would be a feature you would have to pay for OR you will have to be on one of their rip off plans share everything... AKA ... Rent a phone Sent from the iMore App
  • I'll continue to say that introducing Continuity instead of Multitasking in iOS 8 was a fail. Multitasking was more important last year with iPad Air 2 release but that's mainly Apple's loss now.