When iOS 8.0 launched, it shipped without support for SMS Forwarding, one of the many “Continuity” features that were demonstrated to work between iOS devices and Macs running OS X Yosemite. The reason for this was fairly simple: there was no need to include the feature if Yosemite was not yet available to the public.
Earlier this week Apple delivered the first beta version of iOS 8.1 to developers. Aside from a few design tweaks, not a whole lot of changes were visible, though there were references and initial support for Apple Pay, indicating that this would be the update to enable that feature. Now it seems the update will also activate the SMS Forwarding function.
As seen above, support for pairing an iPhone with a Mac for SMS Forwarding is already built into iOS 8.1 beta 1. This makes sense since Apple has said that its payment service will be available in October, which is the same month Yosemite is expected to ship to consumers. Since the first version of Yosemite will need to ship with SMS Forwarding, that function is present in the GM build.
That means if you’re running the GM build of Yosemite and the beta build of iOS 8.1, you can now enable SMS Forwarding between your devices. Setup is completed by logging into the same iMessage account on both devices and waiting for the prompt to enter a confirmation code displayed on the Mac into the iPhone.
You can also manage your SMS-capable devices from the Messages settings pane on iOS, which will show a new section for the feature that allows you to toggle which devices will get text messages. If you attempt to re-enable a disabled device, you’ll have to redo the code entry to confirm your decision.
iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay and SMS Forwarding will be released some time in October alongside OS X Yosemite, and possibly new iPads. Apple is also currently hard at work on two new updates to iOS, versions 8.2 and 8.3.