OS X 10.11 wish list: Better Instant Hotspot support

That's how I feel especially when I depend on Continuity features like Instant Hotspot. Continuity in Yosemite and iOS 8 makes the experience of using a Mac and iOS device much more fluid and seamless. You can take and make phone calls from your Mac, continue composing an email on your phone with a swipe, read a web page on your Mac that you started on your iPad and more. I still feel like it's a work in progress, however.

One ongoing problem I've had is with Instant Hotspot, the feature that enables your Mac to connect to your iPhone to use it as a Wi-Fi hotspot, without making you do any settings toggling on the iPhone itself.

Like many aspects of Continuity between Yosemite and iOS 8, when it works, it's terrific. I pop open my Mac's Wi-Fi menu my iPhone pops right up, ready to connect me to the Internet on those increasingly-rare occasions where I don't have any other way to access the 'net.

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Like other aspects of Continuity, Instant Hotspot is maddeningly inconsistent. Some days it works wonderfully. Other days it doesn't work at all. Quite often it works, but only after I sit there with the Wi-Fi menu open on the Mac, sometimes for a minute or so, before the iPhone will appear. This isn't a new problem — it's dogged me ever since OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 made their debut last fall. I've tried resetting the iPhone and I've even done a clean install on the Mac, all to no avail.

That tells me that Instant Hotspot is a work in progress. And I have no doubt that Apple will ratchet it down and get it working better when OS X 10.11 makes its inevitable debut later this year.

That's how I feel with so much of the Continuity features rolled out in Yosemite — that they're works in progress, not entirely baked yet, but tantalizingly close.

Perhaps I'm unrealistic, but I'm an Apple user who just wants — and really expects — my gear to work right the first time, every time. I don't want to spend precious minutes troubleshooting my connectivity or my devices to try to get things working. I just expect them to, y'know, work.

I know that not everyone is having problems like I am, but I know many who are, so it's not an isolated issue that I'm talking about. Here's to hoping that with the next versions of OS X and iOS, Apple can get things working right the first time, every time.

How about you? Is Instant Hotspot flaking out for you? Or are there other aspects to OS X/iOS Continuity that confound or frustrate you? Sign off in the comments — let me hear them.

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