It happens to most of us every single day: We start one task on our computer only for another task to call us away. It could be tending to a child, running an errand, or hopping into a meeting. The more distributed we get in our professional lives, the more engrained these sorts of disruptions become in our work habits.
It’s for this reason that we created an app at Voxeet that allows for seamless, single-click call transfer between mobiles and computers. Whatever device you need to switch to — laptop, tablet, smartphone — you can do it in real time without delay. We view this sort of interconnectedness of computers and mobile devices as essential for enabling efficient communication in the 21st century.
Apple, it turns out, agrees. At this month’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014 here in San Francisco, I was pleased to see that one of the major upgrades in Apple’s new operating system, “OS X, Yosemite,” is the ability for users to start work on one Apple device and, with the click of an icon on the screen, continue that work on another Apple device. The feature is dubbed “Handoff” and works by way of proximity sensors (ie Bluetooth).
Yosemite is still in beta and won’t be out until the Fall, but from what Apple has suggested, Handoff will be compatible with the full array of Apple apps, from Safari to Maps to Calendar to Pages to Numbers. It even works with phone calls, meaning that a phone call begun on an iPhone can be transferred to an iPad or MacBook Pro. Sounds familiar!
The current version of Android (4.4) allows for similar synchronization, although it focuses primarily on web browsing, rather than on real time transfer of documents or calls. Its big perk is that it works with all devices (Android and Apple), whereas Handoff only works with Apple devices manufactured in the last few years.
Be it Apple Handoff or Android’s synchronization, here’s why this trend is a big deal: We’re living in an era when more and more businesses are giving up traditional brick and mortar office buildings in favor of distributed teams, with employees who work where they need to when they need to in a manner most efficient for them. The end goal is to increase productivity and employee happiness, while cutting costs on office space.
All of which is well and good (who doesn’t love working from home or in smaller, close-knit teams?), until you start to think about the major evolution this change means for the way in which we work. More potential distractions. More changes in location. More dependence on mobile devices. Switching among these devices in an efficient manner is therefore essential. We’ve tried to get out ahead of this curve with Voxeet from the get-go, but it’s nice to see the big technology players jumping onboard.
Image credit: iMore