Bringing back the magic: Linking the iPad and iPhone in iOS 8

Bringing back the magic: Linking the iPad and iPhone in iOS 8

Summary: Apple is all about making its products work with one another. A key announcement at the WWDC explains how the company plans to do that with its two biggest products.

TOPICS: Mobility, iOS, iPhone, iPad
iPhone iPad calling
(Image: Apple live stream)

Apple unveiled the next versions of OS X and iOS at the WWDC in San Francisco. A key strategy behind both OSes is the integration of the two to give customers the advantage of using Apple products. It's clear the company wants its customers to leverage having multiple Apple products.

One of the features in the upcoming iOS 8 is the ability to link the iPhone and iPad. Not much detail is available yet about the functionality, but Apple showed it briefly during the WWDC keynote.

An incoming call was shown on an iPhone that popped up on the linked iPad. The call could be answered on the iPad just as it could on the iPhone.

See also: Five things Apple should to do to rekindle the magic

This is exactly the functionality I said was necessary in a recent article on ZDNet. It makes no sense to me that owners of both the iPhone and iPad couldn't utilize the latter when it makes more sense.

From the earlier article:

Phone call rings in on the iPhone, and also on the iPad in front of you. A swipe of a finger and you're engaged in the call on the iPad. Finish up and hit the end call button, then pick up with whatever you were doing on the iPad before the call.

This scenario is exactly what was shown by Apple of the feature coming in iOS 8. The iPhone stays in the pocket or bag, perhaps even on the charger. Calls can be answered on whichever device is handy, the way it should be.

CNET: WWDC 2014 full coverage

This sounds trivial but from the perspective of user experience this is huge. Not only will this make Apple products more useful, it will further ingrain them in the lives of owners. The iPad will become a more integral part of daily life by assuming such basic functionality as using it for phone calls. Owners of both products from Apple will be using them for even more things that they do every day.

Many folks own both an iPad and iPhone, and the more they use this new feature of iOS 8, the more satisfaction they will get owning Apple products. This is such a basic feature that before long owners won't even think about it, they will simply use it. They will feel good doing it, and that's what Apple is all about.

Topics: Mobility, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • BlackBerry did this three years ago

    My BB Z10 is still linked to my BB PlayBook... all media... messaging, etc.

    Nice to see that Apple is still copying BlackBerry, with a predictive keyboard and message previews.
    • ??

      BB really. Even now??????
  • Not feeling it

    Maybe this will be big, but right now it feels like "meh".
  • A warning

    The first person I see holding an iPad up to his head to make a phone call is getting punched in the neck.
    • Headphones?

      I regularly talk with a friend who has a wi-fi only iPad mini. We use FaceTime audio over wi-fi at each end. The audio quality using this capability is FANTASTIC!!! It really is HD sound! Generally, she just leaves the mini on her lap or table, etc., and that works fine. But if you're outside or in a public place and don't want to use the speaker, a headset w/built-in mic works nicely. I've kinda wondered why Apple just doesn't put cell calling capability into the iPad mini as an answer to the "monster phone" fans.
  • "The Speakerphone"

    People generally don't like taking calls on a speakerphone -- which is why this will turn out to be little more than a gimmick. People carry their phones everywhere they go, so why on Earth would they purposely pick up their iPad to take a call? Skype already does this anyway.
  • Works on the Mac too

    This feature works on the Mac as well, which is way more useful to me. I can answer or decline phone calls from my computer without even having to get my phone out of my laptop bag.
    • I would assume that if you are using your Mac...

      you already have the phone very close to you. If you're going to answer the call you will use the phone not the Mac, if you plan to reject the call you will do that on the computer, but the latter is probably a very small percentage of your received calls (assuming you're a nice guy...)
      • Reply to: I would assume that if you are using your Mac

        Bad Assumption about a phone being close. I have two sisters with iPads and if they don't have to go running for a phone when it rings then all the better. As the saying goes: "If you can't see the value of something, doesn't mean someone else does." Hell, I have to run for my phone at times and being able to answer on the iPad or Macbook Pro would we a help for me as well.
  • I hope there is more to it than this.

    You wrote an entire page about being able to take an iPhone call on the iPad speaker? I certainly hope there is more to the iPad and iPhone connection than this single borderline useful feature.
  • ...yawn

    Wake me up when the iPhone comes out with a proper hardware QWERTY keyboard like the HTC Touch Pro 2. Maybe then enthusiasts like me will get interested.

    Oh, I forgot, Apple only caters to the average consumer. They don't make enthusiast-grade products.
    • I know quite a few people that are enthusiastic about Apple products.

      Does that make them an enthusiast? :)