As Macworld’s executive editor, I’d like to think I’m pretty up to date on iPhone and Mac tips, tricks, and features. But while using my Mac last week, I learned something new that I should have known years ago. In fact, I was so embarrassed that I didn’t know, that I decided to make it a recurring column. Welcome to the first episode of Today I Learned (TIL).
Okay on the tip. It’s actually a feature of iOS 8.1, which has arrived more than seven years ago. That predates the iPhone X, AirPods, Apple Music and – well, you get the idea. So what is this revealing new feature I should have used since 2014? Forwarding text messages.
I actually came across this feature by accident. Instead of picking up my iPhone like I normally do to send a text message to one of my non-iPhone-using friends, I absent-mindedly tried to send the text using the Messages app on my Mac and received a pop-up message suggesting that I turn on text message forwarding on my iPhone.
Wait what? This isn’t the first time I accidentally tried to text on my Mac, but it’s the first time I got a message telling me there was another way. I don’t know why I got a message this time instead of the usual “not delivered” stamp, but needless to say I’m glad it did. The message told me to go to the Messages settings on my iPhone and enable it Forwarding text messages for my MacBook, which I did.
The trick is that your iPhone has to be nearby for it to work, since you’re technically forwarding messages directly from your iPhone to your Mac. But since most people generally have their iPhone next to their Mac anyway, it all just works.
And now not only can I send and receive green-bubble messages on my Mac, but I can get one-time passwords to log in without reaching for my iPhone, copying it, and relying on Universal Clipboard.
Today I Learned is a Macworld column that highlights lesser-known but helpful tips and tricks for Apple users. If you have ideas for future columns, please email [email protected]