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The Apple Ecosystem: How to Get More Value from Your Apple Devices

The Apple Ecosystem: How to Get More Value from Your Apple Devices

20th Sep 2020

Those who have more than one Apple gadget most likely agree with the popular sentiment that once you are in the Apple ecosystem, it is hard to get out. The Cupertino tech giant has successfully built devices that work great individually and even greater together with the use of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology.

Everything is relatively seamless and intuitive, too, which is why many users find themselves comfortable and convinced that devices should behave as such—so why switch to anything else?

Whether it’s a refurbished MacBook, iPad mini, Apple Watch, or iPhone, if you own multiple Apple devices, it is in your best interest to maximize their so-called collaborative features and enjoy the perks of being in the ecosystem further. Below is a nifty infographic that will let you in on the many tips and tricks Apple tech has to offer.

Top Apple Ecosystem Features You Should Know

Have multiple Apple devices but don’t know how to enjoy the benefits of the ecosystem? Familiarize yourself with the following features

1. AirDrop

Traditionally, file sharing is done via connecting your phone to your laptop or a thumb drive if you’re transferring from one laptop or desktop to another. There are accessories and extra steps needed in between a successful file transfer, which can get in the way if you’re in a hurry.

With AirDrop, file transfers got simpler. If all of your (or someone else’s) Apple devices had AirDrop activated, it would be easy to share things with a few taps on your phone—no wires or drives necessary!

How to Activate AirDrop:

  • On the iPhone or iPad:
    • Swipe to reveal your Control Center.
    • Tap and press down on the quad of icons that show Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, and Bluetooth until it expands.
    • Tap AirDrop. Choose whether you want to be discoverable by your Contacts Only or by Everyone.
  • On the MacBook:
    • Open Finder.
    • Choose AirDrop in the sidebar options.
    • Click “Turn on Bluetooth”
    • Toggle your discoverability settings on the bottom portion of the screen.

*Available on Macs introduced in 2012 or later, and should be running OS X Yosemite or newer.

2. Sidecar

The iPad just got an upgrade from being a portable tablet or makeshift laptop. The Sidecar function allows it to be your MacBook’s wireless second screen by either mirroring the same contents on your laptop’s display or having other apps open. At the same time, you get to focus on another view of your computer. This works particularly well for artists or those who need extended displays for their work.

How to Activate Sidecar:

  • Make sure your devices meet the system requirements of this feature.
  • On your Mac, click the AirPlay icon on the menu bar. Choose your iPad among the list of options to connect.
  • You may also access Sidecar via your System Preferences app.
  • Your iPad should now be your laptop display’s extension.

*The Mac needs to be the 2016 version or newer, and should be running Catalina. For the iPad, it needs to be from the 2019 release and should be running iOS 13 or newer.

3. Handoff

Have you ever found yourself browsing something on your phone, only to realize that you want to move your research to your laptop because it needs a bigger display? Or perhaps you were searching for something on your iPad, but you left it at home and needed to access specific tabs you were looking at?

Handoff is another excellent feature that gives you access to the same apps across multiple Apple devices, so you can pick up right where you left off. No need to redo your progress—continue what you were doing.

How to Enable Handoff:

  • Open Settings > General > Handoff.
  • Toggle the switch to turn the function on.
  • Your devices will automatically detect which apps are available for Handoff when they are near each other.

*This is part of their suite of features called “Continuity” which requires different units for different features. Handoff for example requires a 2012 Apple device or newer.

4. Find My

If you find yourself misplacing (or losing) one of your devices, don’t panic! There is a chance you can track its whereabouts and even play an alarm sound so you can pinpoint its exact location. From unintentionally forgetting where you left your phone to the possibility of getting robbed, this feature is beneficial.

How to Enable Find My:

  • Open Settings and tap your name.
  • Choose Find My > Find My [device] > Turn on Find My [device].
  • For offline tracking, turn on Enable Offline Finding.
  • To know its exact location on the map, turn on Location Services.
    • Settings > Privacy > Location Services

*This latest version requires Catalina. The older version is called “Find My Mac” and can run on anything running iCloud, which is 10.7 or newer.

Start Maximizing the Apple Ecosystem

With a few nifty changes to your settings, you will be able to enjoy all that there is with being a multi-device Apple user.

  1. Set up your iCloud for all Apple devices – Make sure you are logged in on each device using the same Apple ID and with iCloud activated. This tells Apple that you are the owner of each gadget, and it will allow you to move between the devices you own without hiccups.
  2. Install the same apps for continuity – The best way to enjoy Handoff is to have the same apps installed in all your Apple devices. This feature works best on stock apps (e.g., Safari, Contacts, Calendar) with a few third-party apps into the mix.
  3. Transfer files from your iPhone to Mac – Manage your Apple devices’ storage space through unlimited file transfers. You can even opt to have it sync on your phone over the cloud, or schedule backups when necessary.
  4. Use Photo Stream – This is another iCloud-enabled feature that allows you to work with your files across multiple devices seamlessly. With Photo Stream, you get to access your most recent photos taken on any of your Apple devices over the cloud. No need for file transfers if you, for instance, took a picture with your iPhone but want to do professional-grade editing on your iPad.
  5. Phone calls from iPhone to Mac – If you’ve ever missed calls because your iPhone isn’t in the same room as you, this feature can save you time from running across the other room or rummaging through your bag for your phone. This feature extends beyond FaceTime so that you can answer incoming phone calls on your mobile number, too.
  6. Track Health app data from the Apple Watch – Health and fitness tracking is only one of the benefits of wearable tech. If you own an Apple Watch, you can record data that will sync on your Health app across all devices for your access and review later on.

Get the Best Experience in the Apple Ecosystem

Learn more about the ecosystem in the Apple support topics or find other great tips on the blog. If you’re looking to add more Apple products to your ecosystem, why not consider getting Apple-certified refurbished products from the Macs4U catalog? Topnotch customer support and a vast selection of models with affordable price tags await!