I came across an iPhone app last week that I've grown to like quite a bit.  It's called Handoff.

Let me set the stage for you:

You quickly look up a recipe on your computer and decide you need to run to the store to get the sesame oil, quinoa, chicken gizzards, and all the other ingredients to make your exotic five star meal.  

HandoffOr, you come across an interesting article right at bedtime. You really want to read about the epidemic of recent salamander attacks but just don't want to do it at the kitchen table at 11:30 at night.

Or, you call up a Google map with directions to the house of the local weather person.  You decide now is the time to head over to their place, peek in their windows, and perhaps let them know that you did receive the secret love message that they sent over the newscast.

Sure, in all these cases you could do the search again in mobile safari on your iPhone or iPad.  Or you could email yourself some of the information.  

Or, you could use Handoff! [pause for applause]

To use Handoff you need to download the Handoff app onto your iPhone and/or iPad and then add a handoff extension to your Chrome or Safari browser (or a bookmarklet, if you're using Firefox or IE).  These can be found at the Handoff homepage.  Then, when you come across something interesting on your home computer you simply press a button in your browser and you get an instant notification on your iOS device that that Handoff has received the item.

If you've sent a web page it will open up that web page.  If you sent a map it'll open the map.  If you had highlighted any text it'll send that snippet to your phone.  If that text was a phone number you'll be able to tap it and make a call.

In summary, it's a very simple utility.  However, any time I can avoid writing something down, searching for something more than once, or just accomplish a ask in less steps, well, it makes me happy.  


AuthorTodd Zarwell