(Pocket-lint) - Continuity in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite brings effortless tethering as well as the ability to pass app activities between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It is a really clever feature, but can startle some at first and frustrate others merely confused as to why all of a sudden when your phone rings, every iDevice in your house starts buzzing. 

For those of who have decided Continuity is making your Mac, iPad, or iPod Touch ring far too much or get way too many notifications all of a sudden, here's how to disable each of the various new features within Continuity. 


A quick overview, what is Continuity?

Continuity is a new feature from Apple that lets you easily transition between (or use together) your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It includes four sub-features known as Handoff, Phone Calling, SMS, and Instant Hotspot.


Handoff enables you to stop what you were doing on your Mac and then resume using just your iPhone or iPad. To enable it, sign in to the same iCloud account on all your devices, then turn on Bluetooth on all your devices, and connect all your devices to the same Wi-Fi network.

The idea is that you can step away from your Mac and continue on a mobile device, with an activity icon appearing on your iPhone or iPad Lock screen. Swipe up from the icon in order to go back to that website you were browsing, for instance, or the message you were composing.

Handoff works both ways too. Say you composing an email on your iPad, and then realised you needed to carry on at your desk, an activity icon will appear on your Mac dock. Click it to pick up where you left off, but just remember that all your devices need to be near each other.

Although you can use Handoff with some third-party apps, it's most tightly integrated with Apple apps such as Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Phone Calling

Phone Calling is a new feature many people are excited about, simply because the concept is brilliant: place cellular phone calls to people or take calls from your iPad, iPod touch, or Mac - without getting your iPhone out of your pocket - by using your desktop.


To enable the feature, sign into the same iCloud account on all your devices, then ensure all your devices are running the latest OS upgrades, and connect them to the same Wi-Fi network. All your devices must also be signed into FaceTime, with Wi-Fi calling switched off under Settings.

While on a Mac, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can tap or click on any phone number in Contacts, Calendar, or Safari to place a call. You can also tap a phone number from a recent contact in the multitasking display on your iPad or iPod touch.

You can answer calls with a swipe on your iPad or iPod Touch, whereas on a Mac you will get a notification that you can answer or send to voicemail. Keep in mind any device that shares your Apple ID will get your iPhone calls.


You can now send and receive SMS and MMS text messages - via Apple's Messages app - from your iPhone on your Mac, iPad, and iPod Touch.


Whether or not the recipient has an iPhone, you can reply from whichever device you own. You can also initiate texts by clicking a number in Safari, Contacts, or Calendar. To use this new SMS feature in Continuity, ensure your iPhone is running the latest OS upgrade.

You'll also need to enable iMessage on your Mac and iOS devices, then switch on Text Messages Forwarding under Messages in Settings (from your iPhone), and verify everything by entering the Apple-provided code (that displays on your iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac) into your iPhone.

Instant Hotspot

You've long been able to use your iPhone or iPad as a Personal Hotspot, thus enabling you to access the Internet on other devices when a Wi-Fi signal isn't available, but now the setup process is much more streamlined and, well, instant.


Before pairing to your Mac, no longer do you have to fumble to get your phone out of your pocket, then go into Settings, and turn on the hotspot feature. Now you go just go to the Wi-Fi settings on your Mac, then select your iPhone or iPad from the list, and that's it.

The two systems automatically start talking to each other automatically, and because there is a direct connection, you can instantly see signal connection as well as battery life of your iPhone.

To enable this feature for your iPad or iPod Touch, sign in to iCloud using the same Apple ID as your iPhone, then go to Wi-Fi under Settings, and select your iPhone or iPad that has a cellular connection.

On your Mac, go to the Wi-Fi menu and select your iPhone or iPad that has a cellular connection.

How do you turn off Continuity?

Now that you've reviewed the four main components of Continuity, you can decide whether you want to toggle any of them off or on. There is no kill switch for all of Continuity, so check out below if you want to learn how to disable individual sub-features.

Disable Handoff

To turn off Handoff on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, just go to Handoff & Suggested Apps under General in Settings. From there, switch off Handoff.

On your Mac, go to General under System Preferences and switch off the option to allow Handoff.

Disable Phone Calling

To turn off Phone Calling on your iPad or iPod Touch, go to FaceTime under Settings and switch off iPhone Cellular Calls. On your Mac, open the FaceTime app, then go to Preferences under FaceTime, and tap Settings. From there, switch off the iPhone Cellular Calls option.

Disable SMS

To turn off SMS, simply switch off Text Messages Forwarding under Messages in Settings (from your iPhone).

Disable Instant Hotspot

To turn off Instant Hotspot, go into Settings on your iPhone and switch off the hotspot feature.

Want to know more?

Check out Apple's Support page for more information on how to enable or disable Continuity features. You can also read Pocket-lint's in-depth review of both Continuity in general and Handoff.

Writing by Elyse Betters.