Handoff, which is part of Apple’s Continuity, lets you transfer your activities between iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iPod touch, and Mac. For example, you can start writing an email on your iPad, then switch immediately to your nearby email. Best of all, it’s easy to do!
Handoff broadcasts activities using Bluetooth Low Energy (BT LE) and transfers them using Wi-Fi, either directly or through iCloud. Handoff requirements include:
- A mobile device equipped with Bluetooth LE (iPhone 5 or later, iPad Pro (any version), iPad 4 or later, iPad Air or later, iPad mini (any version), iPod touch 5th generation or later, Apple Watch (any version)
- Logged into the same Apple ID (iCloud account) on all your devices.
- Connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Mac running OS X Yosemite 10.10 or later.
Bluetooth LE is required because it both uses very little power, and it only works within a very close range. You want Handoff to always be available, but not draining your battery unnecessarily. Likewise, you only want devices that are nearby and under your physical control to pick up your activities. Security and privacy first.
Apple has added Handoff support to the following built-in apps:
- Mail, Maps, Safari, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and many third-party apps.
Developers can also add Handoff support to App Store apps. Check the app’s description for compatibility.
How to enable or disable Handoff on iPhone and iPad
Handoff should be enabled by default. If it isn’t, or if you need to toggle it:
Launch the Settings app from your Home screen
Toggle Handoff to On.
To disable Handoff, repeat the same steps but set the toggle to Off.
How to access Handoff from the App Switcher
When you’re using an app on one device and it’s available for Handoff, you’ll see a message on the bottom of the App Switcher on your iPhone or iPad. For example, if you’re surfing the web with Safari on your Mac, you will see a link to Safari on your mobile device.
In this example:
On your Mac, open a website in Safari.
Tap the message at the bottom of the screen to bring up the Safari page you were viewing on your Mac.
It can take a few seconds or more for the app to launch and your activity to transfer over. Once it has, you can continue working right where you left off.
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Updated June 2019: Added iOS 12 information.
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Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password’s blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple. Read more.
Handoff is a feature of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs that lets you start something on one device and then complete it on another. For example, you might start reading a web page on your iPhone and then realize you’d rather kick back and read on your iPad or MacBook. With Handoff, making that switch is a cinch. No more noting down the URL or emailing it to yourself for opening on a second device.
You will need to meet a few prerequisites for using Handoff. Both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network, have Bluetooth turned on, and be signed into the same iCloud account. Assuming your devices meet those conditions, using Handoff is easy. Apple’s first-party apps like Safari, Mail, Messages, and Pages all support Handoff right off the bat. Third-party developers can add support for Handoff as they see fit. No matter which app you’re using, using Handoff is the same.
First, let’s make sure that Handoff is turned on. You’ll need to turn it on on each of the devices you use, including your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.
Enabling Handoff on your iPhone or iPad
Open up your Settings app and tap the “General” option.
On the General page, tap the “Handoff” setting.
Flick the toggle to turn Handoff on (or off if that’s what want).
Enabling Handoff on Your Mac
On the Mac, you’ll follow a similar process. Head to System Preferences > General and then make sure the “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices” checkbox is enabled.
Enabling Handoff on Your Apple Watch
And on the Apple Watch, it’s just as easy. You’ll need to do it in the Watch app on your iPhone, though.
In the Watch app, open the “General” settings and then turn on the “Enable Handoff” toggle.
Now that you’ve got Handoff enabled everywhere, using it is super simple.
Using Handoff on your iPhone or iPad
When you need to hand something off to another device, you don’t have to pull up a share sheet and hit “Send” or anything. You actually don’t need to do anything on the device from which you want to transfer at all, except making sure the app is open, and the page or document is loaded. That’s because everything is kept in sync through iCloud and readily available on the target device.
For example, say you’ve got a web page open in Safari on your iPhone and wanted to continue it on another device. Go ahead and leave the page open on your iPhone (it doesn’t matter if your iPhone is awake or not). On your iPad or Mac, you’ll see an extra Safari icon with a little iPhone symbol above it. Hit that to open up the page right where you left off.
The small icon in the upper right indicates the app was open on another device.
On the receiving device, all you need to do is enter the app switcher. Depending on whether you’re using a device with a Home button or not, the method for doing that will be different. If you are, double-pressing the Home button will do the trick. If you’re using a newer device (iPhone X or newer, 2018 iPad Pro or newer), you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen, pausing for a moment.
Once in the app switcher, you will notice a button at the bottom of the screen. The button will show the app that is available for handoff and once tapped, the associated app and document will open.
If you’re using an Apple Watch, things work a little bit differently. For starters, you can only hand off in one direction: watch to phone. Handoff also only works with specific apps and Siri. In fact, Siri will offer to hand off things automatically that she can’t do on the watch. For example, if you tell Siri on your watch to compose an email, she’ll offer to continue the action on your phone automatically.
That’s really all there is to it. You might be surprised just how many apps support Handoff these days, and if you find yourself switching between multiple devices throughout your day, this is one feature that could save you more time and taps than you realize.
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One of the key features of Continuity across Apple devices is Handoff. Handoff allows Apple’s first-party apps and any third party developers to send an app’s data seamlessly between devices so you can “pick up where you left off.”
For example, start composing an email message on your Mac in OS X Mail and a symbol will appear on your iPhone’s lock screen to continue writing on the go. Open a webpage in Safari on your iPhone and a Safari icon will appear in your Mac’s Dock to load the same webpage. Or start reading a story in the official AppleInsider app on your iPhone, and quickly continue on your iPad.
Handoff works with Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Messages, Notes, Reminders, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote as well as any enabled third party apps. Some examples of apps you can try with Handoff are Pocket, Wunderlist, and the NYTimes app.
Of all the Continuity features, Handoff has the most requirements. Devices must use the same iCloud account, be on the same Wi-Fi network, capable of Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), and run iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite. iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4 or later, any iPad mini and iPod touch 5 meet these requirements.
To see if your Mac has Bluetooth LE, go to the symbol in the menu bar and select About This Mac.
In the new window, click System Report and then Bluetooth in the left-hand column.
On the right you will see Bluetooth Low Energy Supported: and either Yes or No. If Yes, Handoff will work on your Mac, if No, unfortunately Handoff will not. The short list of Macs with Bluetooth LE are: MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later), MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later), iMac (Late 2012 and later), Mac mini (Late 2012 and later), and Mac Pro (Late 2013).
In addition to the hardware and OS requirements, make sure you are signed into the same iCloud account across devices. On iOS, go to Settings > iCloud to see what account is active.
On a Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud and be sure you are signed in with the same account as your other iOS devices.
Once you have confirmed that the same iCloud account is on all devices, you’ll need to enable Handoff. On iOS, go to Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps.
Tap the Handoff slider to the ON position.
On your Mac, go to System Preferences > General.
The second-to-last checkbox is Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices, make sure this is checked.
Handoff should now be enabled across your devices. Remember that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be turned on for both your Mac and iOS devices. To test, navigate to any website using the Safari browser on your Mac or begin composing a new email message in OS X Mail.
Once the page is loaded or you begin composing a new email, you should see a small icon in the lower left corner of your iPhone or iPad lock screen.
Swipe up on this icon to unlock your iPhone or iPad and automatically be brought to the respective application with the web page or email from your Mac loaded on your iOS device.
In addition to swiping on the lock screen to activate Handoff, enter multitasking view on your iOS device by double-tapping the home button and swipe all the way to the left. A screen should appear with your most recent active Handoff-enabled application.
If you are using a Handoff application on your iOS device and would like to move onto your Mac, look at the far left (or top depending on Dock location) for the Handoff icon. Click it to open the application you were using on your iPhone or iPad.
One of the most useful features of the Apple ecosystem is something Apple calls Universal Clipboard, and yet many iPhone and Mac users don’t seem to know it exists, mostly because Apple doesn’t really advertise it.
The way it works is simple: When you copy something on your iPhone (text, an image, a link, whatever), you can select Paste on your nearby Mac and the contents will appear over just as if you were doing a copy/paste on the same machine. The same goes in reverse, from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad. Once you get used to Universal Clipboard, it quickly becomes one of your best productivity tools.
But it requires a little setup, and it can be hard to find because it’s a feature of a broader technology called Handoff that allows you to resume working in supported apps between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Here’s how to enable it.
On your iPhone or iPad
To enable Universal Clipboard, you just have to turn on Handoff. To do that on your iPhone or iPad:
- Open Settings
- Tap on General
- Tap AirPlay & Handoff
- Enable Handoff
With this turned on, Handoff features will work with any other Mac or iPad logged in to the same Apple ID, as long as it’s nearby (typically within a few feet).
On your Mac
Once Handoff is enabled on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll have to enable it on your Mac, too.
- Open System Preferences
- Open General
- Enable the checkbox next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices
With Handoff enabled, you’ll get Univesal Clipboard as well as seeing new icons in your Dock for apps like Safari, Mail, Maps, Calendar, and others when you have them open on your iPhone or iPad. Clicking on one of those icons will open that app to the same place or page as it is on your iPhone/iPad.
Different Handoff features have different system requirements, which Apple lists here. But Universal Clipboard in particular is one of the best-supported features. All you need is:
- Any iPhone 5 or later or or iPad 4th generation or later, running iOS/iPadOS 10 or later.
- Any Mac from 2012 or later running macOS Sierra (10.12) or later.
In other words, almost any hardware from the last eight years, with software from the last five, will work.
It can be a little finicky at times. If you find it stops working, just go back to Settings and System Preferences, turn Handoff off (on both your iPhone/iPad and Mac), wait a few seconds, then turn them back on. That usually clears up any problems.
Start a task on one Apple gadget—Mac, iOS, or Apple Watch—and pick up on another. Here’s how to use Apple Handoff to continue tasks between devices.
You have a Mac, and maybe another Apple device like an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. If you’ve started a certain task on one device and want to continue on another, you can do that with Handoff.
This feature allows seamless transitions between any of your devices. Start an email, text message, or another item on your Mac, and then resume it on your iPhone. Start a task on your iPhone and continue it on your iPad. You can even start a task on an Apple Watch ($330.65 at Amazon UK) and continue it on your iOS device.
Handoff primarily works with Apple apps like Safari, Calendar, Contacts, and Podcasts, but it supports some third-party programs as well. On the operating system front, Handoff requires OS X Yosemite or later on Mac, iOS 8 or later on iPhone or iPad, and watchOS 1.0 or later on Apple Watch. On the hardware end, the feature requires certain model iOS devices and Macs at a minimum but supports any Apple Watch.
In order to use Handoff, each device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network and be signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID. Here’s how to set up and use Handoff.
Table of Contents
- Read Me First
- Yosemite Quick Start
- What’s New in Yosemite?
- Take Control of Yosemite’s Look
- Cut Clutter with Finder Tabs
- Get Organized with Finder Tags
- Find More Faster with Spotlight
- Keep Current with Notification Center
- Update Your Safari Smarts
- Do More with Mail
- Keep Connected with Messages
- Stay Up to Date with Calendar
- Navigate iCloud Drive
- Move Easily between Devices with Handoff
- Turn Your Mac into a Speakerphone
- Share Files with AirDrop
- Avoid Problems with User Accounts
- Get Help from OS X Recovery
- About This Book
- About the Author
- About the Publisher
- Copyright and Fine Print
Move Easily between Devices with Handoff
Use Handoff to move seamlessly between your Apple devices. For instance, say you start to write an email message on your Mac and then have to rush out the door for work. While you wait at the train station, finish composing the message on your iPhone. Or, say you start reading an article in Safari on your iPad and then want to finish on your iMac at the office. Apple says Handoff will let you pick up where you left off when using Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, and some third-party apps in Yosemite and iOS 8 ①.
① When you get back to your Mac, click the activity icon in your Dock to finish the email message you started on your iPhone or iPad.
The good news is that Handoff is truly convenient; the bad news is it may not work for you. Its hardware requirements are far more stringent than Yosemite and iOS 8’s.
According to Apple, these devices can take advantage of Handoff ②:
② Lucky enough to have more than one Handoff-capable Mac? They can share, too.
- iOS: Any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that can run iOS 8 and that also has a Lightning connector (that excludes the iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPhone 4s)
- iMac: 2012 or newer
- MacBook Air: 2012 or newer
- MacBook Pro: 2012 or newer
- Mac mini: 2012 or newer
- Mac Pro: Late 2013 or newer
Yes, that means if your Mac, iPhone, or iPad is more than a few years old, you are out of luck.
If your Mac is on this list, but doesn’t seem to work, choose Apple > About This Mac. Click System Report and then select Bluetooth in the sidebar.
What you want to see is: Bluetooth Low Energy Supported: Yes; Handoff Supported: Yes ③. If you see the word No or don’t see a line for Handoff in System Report at all, your Mac does not support Handoff.
③ Does your Mac really support Handoff? Go to Apple > About This Mac, click on System Report, and then select Bluetooth. You want to see what’s shown here (circled).
Get Set Up
- Turn on Bluetooth. On the Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and click the Turn Bluetooth On button ④. On an iOS device, tap Settings > Bluetooth and toggle the switch to On.
④ Click the Turn On Bluetooth button to enable Bluetooth on your Mac.
⑤ On your Mac, make sure the Allow Handoff Between This Mac And Your iCloud Devices option (circled) is checked.
When you’re ready to move from one device to another, leave the app you’re using in the foreground. Then:
- Check that your Mac and iOS device (or two Macs) are within Bluetooth range of each another—no more than 33 feet (roughly 10 meters) apart. It shouldn’t matter if your iPhone or iPad is inside a pocket or purse.
- If you’re moving to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, an activity icon for the app you were working on appears at the bottom-left edge of the Lock screen ⑥. Swipe up from this.
⑥ Your iPhone displays a small activity icon—in this case Safari (circled)—at the bottom of the Lock screen. Swipe up from this icon to open the Web page you were viewing.
Or, if your iOS device is already unlocked, double-press the Home button to open the multitasking screen. If it doesn’t open to Handoff, swipe right to the Handoff view.
If you’re moving to a Mac, an activity icon for the app (with a tiny device icon on it) appears in the Dock ⑦. Click this to jump to your spot.
⑦ On your Mac, you see an activity icon in the Dock, like this one for Maps.
Or, if you like to keep your hands on the keyboard, when the activity icon appears in the Dock, press Command-Tab to reveal the Application Switcher. Hold the Command key and press Tab until the activity icon highlights. Release the keys to jump to your spot.
Results Will Vary
If you’re composing an email message, you’ll find your cursor where you left it when switching in Mail from one device to another. Likewise, Contacts opens to the card you were editing and Maps jumps to directions just looked up. Safari reloads the page you were reading, but data typed into forms, as well as your place on the page, is lost.
In my testing, Calendar and Messages didn’t remember much more than that I had been in the app.
Apple’s iWork suite—Pages, Keynote, and Numbers—was updated in mid-October to support Handoff.
Turn Handoff Off
To disable Handoff on your iOS devices, tap Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps and then toggle the Handoff switch to off.
To disable Handoff on your Mac, go to System Preferences > General, and uncheck the Allow Handoff between This Mac and Your iCloud Devices box.
Note: What’s the Application Switcher on a Mac? Read this Macworld article.
If you have a series of Apple products, like iMac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, when you want to work cross devices, you can use Handoff. With Handoff, you can start work on one device, then switch to another nearby device and pick up where you left off. You should learn about how to use handoff to connect your iOS devices.
1. Set up Handoff
Before using Handoff, the devices need to meet the below system requirement, then you have to set it up.
1.1 System Requirement:
- iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch need to use the Operating System iOS 8 or later
- iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini need to use the Operating System OS X Yosemite or laterВ
1.2 Steps to set up Handoff:
Handoff works when your devices are near each other, you can follow below steps to set up Handoff:
- Each device isВ signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
- Each device has Bluetooth turned on.
- Each Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch has Wi-Fi turned on.
- Each device has Handoff turned on:
- On Mac, choose Apple menu> System Preferences, then click General. Select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”
On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > General > Handoff, then turn on Handoff.
On Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then tap General and turn on Enable Handoff.
Tip: Apple Watch supports handing off from watch to iPhone only.
2. Use Handoff to Connect Your iOS devices
- On one of your devices, openВ an app that works with Handoff.
Apps that work with Handoff include:
Mail, Maps, Safari, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and numerous third-party apps.
If you’re on the Lock screen, swipe up from the bottom-left edge of the screen, where you see the app’s icon.
If you’re not on the Lock screen, double-click the Home button, then tap the app banner at the bottom of the multitasking screen.
Table of Contents
Here’s how to turn on Handoff on your devices: Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click General. Select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.” iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Go to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff, then turn on Handoff.
Also know, how do I share Safari between devices? Enable Safari Tab Sharing If iCloud is not active, you will need to sign in using your Apple ID to sync data with iCloud. Once iCloud is active, toggle the Safari switch to the ON position to activate Safari data sharing. This will allow tabs to be shared across your devices.
Beside above, what is Apple Handoff? With Handoff, you can start something on one device (Mac, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch) and then pick it up on another without losing focus on what you’re doing. For example, start answering an email on your iPhone, then finish it in Mail on your Mac.
Additionally, how do I turn on Handoff? Enabling Handoff on your iPhone or iPad Open up your Settings app and tap the “General” option. On the General page, tap the “Handoff” setting. Flick the toggle to turn Handoff on (or off if that’s what want).
Furthermore, how do I unlink Safari from Mac to iPhone?
- Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
- Scroll down and tap ‘General’
- Next tap ‘Handoff‘
- Turn the ‘Handoff’ toggle off.
How do I see Safari tabs on other devices?
- Open Safari.
- Tap the Tabs button.
- Scroll to the bottom of the list. Below the images of tabs open on your device, you see a list of open tabs from your other supported devices.
- Tap the one you want to open.
How does Handoff work Apple?
With Handoff, you can start something on one device (Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch) and then pick it up on another without losing focus on what you’re doing. For example, start answering an email on your iPhone, then finish it in Mail on your Mac. … You must be signed in with the same Apple ID on all your devices.
Can iPhones track Private Browsing?
Can Private Browsing be Traced on an iPhone? Yes. … Private browsing merely means that you do not save your history, cookies, etc., on your device. While private browsing seems secure and untraceable to users, we can still trace it using technical methods.
What is meant by Handoff?
A handoff refers to the process of transferring an active call or data session from one cell in a cellular network to another or from one channel in a cell to another.
Why is Apple handoff not working?
How to Fix Handoff Not Working on iPhone. To refresh the handoff connection between your iPhone and other devices, do the following: … Select AirPlay & Handoff; if the Handoff slider is on, turn it off and restart your phone. Once restarted, turn on the Handoff slider again.
Does handoff work with private browsing?
Open a Private Browsing window When you use a Private Browsing window: … If you use Handoff, Private Browsing windows are not passed to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or other Mac computers. Changes to your cookies and website data aren’t saved.
Which apps work with Apple handoff?
Apps that work with Handoff include Mail, Maps, Safari, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and many third-party apps. Use the app to start a task, such as writing an email or document.
How do I stop my iPhone from sharing my search history?
The only way to stop it with a shared account would be to either turn on private browsing (which prevents open tabs from being synced but also disables your browsing history) or turn off Safari syncing in Settings>iCloud (which also stops syncing your bookmarks using iCloud).
How do I take Safari off my iPhone?
- On your child’s iOS device, open Settings.
- Select Screentime > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps.
- Enter your Screen Time Passcode. Depending on your iOS version, you may be required to enter your passcode in the previous step.
- Toggle Safari to ON or OFF.
How do I get rid of Safari on my iPhone?
Delete Safari from iPhone or iPad Go to settings, then general, then restrictions. Tap “Enable Restrictions” and create a four digit passcode. Then, tap Safari to the “Off” position. The app will be restricted and cannot enable itself again without the passcode.
Why is my iPhone not saving my search history?
Try resetting Safari. Close Safari completely from the app switcher window by double clicking the Home button and swiping up the Safari preview pane until it disappears from the screen. Then go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. Then do a forced restart.
Handoff is a useful new feature. With Handoff, you can start writing an email on your iPhone or other iOS device and you can pick up where you left off on your Mac; or put together a report in Pages on your Mac and add the finishing touches with your iPad on the train to work. Here’s how to set up and use the Handoff feature.
Setting Up Handoff
1 – To use the feature, iOS devices must be running iOS 8 or later and no older than an iPhone 5, iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display or iPod touch (5th generation). Macs must be running the Yosemite operating system or later.
2 – Your devices must also be logged into the same iCloud account. On an iOS device, open Settings and tap ‘Sign in to your iPad/iPhone’ and sign in. If you’re already signed in but need to use a different account, scroll all the way down and tap Sign Out.
3 – On your Mac, open System Preferences (from the Apple menu or Dock). From there, click on iCloud (middle row, left-hand side). Sign in using your Apple ID and password. Again, if you need to sign out and use a different account, there’s a link.
4 – Turn on Handoff. In System Preferences, click General (top left corner) and switch on the option titled Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices. On an iOS device, go to Settings > General > Handoff. Switch on the Handoff option. If it’s missing, your device is too old.
Using macOS and iOS Handoff
1 – If you have a document open on your Mac and want to continue to work on it on an iOS device, the app you were using on your Mac is placed in the iOS Dock and badged. Here you see the Safari app on an iPad, badged for Handoff.
2 – Tap the badged icon and the app opens, with the document, web page or other such item you were looking at on your Mac opening automatically. In Safari, as seen here, it opens in a new tab and doesn’t close whatever you were looking at last time you used your iOS device.
With Handoff, you can start something on one device (Mac, iOS, or Apple Watch) and pick it up on another without losing focus on what you’re doing. For example, you can start writing an email on your Mac, then pick up where you left off in Mail on your iPhone. Or see a location in Maps on Apple Watch, then explore the area in more detail in Maps on your Mac.
You can use Handoff with many apps—Calendar, Contacts, Keynote, Mail, Maps, Messages, Notes, Numbers, Pages, Reminders, and Safari. Some third-party apps may also work with Handoff.
For Handoff to work, you must use supported devices that are signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID and on the same Wi-Fi network. The devices must be within Bluetooth range of one another (about 33 feet or 10 meters); make sure Bluetooth is on for your Mac (in System Preferences) and iOS devices (in Settings).
Turn Handoff on or off
If you don’t see a Handoff option on your device, it doesn’t work with Handoff.
On your Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click General, then select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices” (below “Recent items”). To turn it off, deselect the option.
On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: Go to Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps, then tap to turn on Handoff. To turn it off, tap the option.
On Apple Watch: Open the Watch app on iPhone, go to My Watch > General, then tap to turn on Enable Handoff. To turn it off, tap the option.
Hand off between devices
From your Mac to an iOS device: The Handoff icon of the app you’re using on your Mac appears on iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch in the bottom-left corner of the Lock screen. Just swipe up to continue working in the app.
You can also double-click the Home button on the device to go to the multitasking screen, then swipe right to see the Handoff icon.
From an iOS device or Apple Watch to your Mac: The Handoff icon of the app you’re using on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch appears on your Mac at the left end of the Dock (or the top, depending on the Dock position). Just click the icon to continue working in the app.
You can also press Command-Tab to quickly switch to the app that has the Handoff icon.
Have you ever been reading an article in Safari on an iPhone and wished you could be reading the same article on your larger screened iPad instead? Rather than email or message yourself the article link, this is a perfect situation to use the wonderful Handoff feature for. Handoff allows you to quite literally hand an app session from one device to another, and Handoff works with MacOS and iOS devices. For our purposes here, we’ll be showing you how to use Handoff to pass a webpage from Safari on an iPhone to an iPad, but it works the exact same going the other direction too.
Requirements: To use Handoff, you will need two modern iOS devices running a somewhat modern iOS release, and they must be using the same Apple ID with iCloud. The devices must be in close proximity to one another, and on the same internet connection. Of course Handoff must be enabled too, which you can check by going to Settings > General > Handoff and confirming it is toggled to the ON position.
How to Handoff a Safari Webpage from iPhone to iPad, or Vice Versa in iOS
For the purpose of this walkthrough, let’s assume you have a webpage open in Safari on iPhone that you want to pass off to your iPad, here’s what you’d want to do:
Keep the webpage / article open in Safari on the iPhone (or iPad) that you want to pass off to the other device
Now pick up and unlock the iPad (or iPhone) and go to the Home Screen, then wait a moment for the Safari icon to appear in the lower right corner of the devices Dock
Safari will launch on the iPad (or iPhone) with the webpage from the iPhone (or other iOS device) open
It’s as simple as that! Now you’re reading the webpage or article on the larger screened iPad (or other iOS device).
If you want to try this out yourself, you can use this very article you’re reading right now. Just pick up your iPhone and iPad and follow the steps above.
This obviously covers passing Safari webpages from iOS to iOS, but you can pass them from Mac to iOS and iOS to Mac as well, as long as Handoff is also enabled on the Mac and it’s using the same Apple ID too. You can learn more about using Handoff in MacOS and iOS here if interested, the feature exists for many other apps and is not limited to Safari.
Another option for passing a browsing session from one iOS device to another iOS device (or Mac) is to use Universal Clipboard feature, which allows you to copy something on one of your devices and paste it onto another. Universal Clipboard is another Handoff / Continuity feature, and it works great as well.
If this isn’t working for you, it’s likely because one of the Handoff requirements mentioned earlier is not being met. Be sure to have Handoff enabled on iOS in Settings > General > Handoff
Also be sure that iCloud is signed in with the same Apple ID on all devices involved. In terms of version and device support, most new iPhone and iPad models will have this feature as it was originally introduced way back in the 8.1 release of iOS, so any modern iPhone or iPad that is kept somewhat up to date with iOS 12 or later will certainly include the Continuity and Handoff features.
Before you begin
To use Continuity, check that your iOS device or Mac meets the system requirements for this feature.
With Handoff, you can start a document, email, or message on one device and pick up where you left off from another device. Handoff works with Apple apps like Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Some third-party apps are also compatible.
Set up Handoff
- Check that you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices.
- Turn on Bluetooth on all of your devices and connect them to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Make sure that your devices are near each other.
- On one of your devices, open a compatible app, like Mail or Pages.
- Use the app to start a task, like writing an email or a document.
- Then you can switch to a different iOS device or Mac. If you switch to a Mac, you can press Command-Tab to pick up where you left off, or you can click the app icon in your Dock:
If you switch to a different iOS device, there are two ways to pick up where you left off:
You can swipe up from the bottom-left edge of the Lock screen, where you see the app’s activity icon .
Or if you aren’t on the Lock screen, double-click the Home button. On the multitasking screen that appears, tap the banner at the bottom of your screen.
Turn off Handoff
If you want to turn off Handoff on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps. Then turn off Handoff.
On your Mac, go to System Preferences > General. Then uncheck the Allow Handoff setting.
iPhone Cellular Calls
With Continuity, you can make and receive cellular phone calls from your iPad, iPod touch, or Mac when your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network.
Your carrier might support Wi-Fi calling on other devices. If so, you can set up your Mac and other iOS devices to make and receive calls even when your iPhone isn’t on or nearby.
Set up iPhone Cellular Calls
- You need iOS 8 or later on your iOS devices and OS X Yosemite or later on your Mac.
- Check that you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices.
- Use the same Wi-Fi network on all of your devices.
- Sign in to FaceTime with the same Apple ID on all of your devices. This means any device that shares your Apple ID will get your phone calls. If you don’t want to receive calls on your other devices, learn what to do.
Make a call or answer a call
- To make a phone call on your Mac, find a contact’s phone number in Contacts, Calendar, or Safari. Hover over the number and click the phone icon that appears to the right of the number.
- To make a phone call on your iPad or iPod touch, tap or click a phone number in Contacts, Calendar, or Safari.
- On your iPad or iPod touch, you can slide to answer a phone call. On your Mac, a notification appears when someone calls your iPhone. Then you can answer the call, send it to voicemail, or send the caller a message, right from your Mac.
Turn off iPhone Cellular Calls
To turn off iPhone cellular calls on your iPad or iPod touch, go to Settings > FaceTime and turn off iPhone Cellular Calls.
On your Mac, open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime > Preferences. Click Settings and deselect the iPhone Cellular Calls option.
With Continuity, all the SMS and MMS text messages that you send and receive on your iPhone can also appear on your Mac, iPad, and iPod touch. You can also reply to your contacts from whichever device is closest to you, including your iPad or Mac.
You can start a conversation in the Messages app or click a phone number in Safari, Contacts, or Calendar.
Set up SMS and MMS with Continuity
- You need iOS 8 or later on your iOS devices and OS X Yosemite or later on your Mac.
- Sign in to iMessage with the same Apple ID on your iPhone, your other iOS devices, and your Mac.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive. Add a check to both your phone number and email address. Then go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding and enable the device or devices that you want to forward messages to.
- Look for a code on the Mac, iPad, or iPod touch that you enabled. Then enter this verification code on your iPhone.
With Instant Hotspot, you can use Personal Hotspot on your iOS device to provide Internet access to your other devices, without having to enter your password.
Set up Personal Hotspot
Sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on each of your devices. Then check that your cellular provider has provisioned Personal Hotspot.
Last Updated on Dec 4, 2020
Setup New handoff features now publicly available on Mac. As well as iOS 8 or later iOS/iPadOS version will only support handoff on iPhone and iPad. Now, Apple is giving the option to call, Share your task – Work in-between from your Mac & (iPhone and iPad) device. So don’t miss out these features to use in your Mac, handoff can call from Mac to iOS device vice versa, Share your current work from Mac to the iOS device, With some Hendy, pre-requirements has given in this tutorial – Setup and use Handoff on Mac and iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch.
we are happy to help you, submit this Form, if your solution is not covered in this article.
Handoff Requirement, Setup and Use Handoff on Mac (iPhone and iPad)
1. Requirement full-filled before you have to use handoff in Mac and iOS device
- Mac running on Latest version on macOS (Note: Download, install or update Mac in your Compatible Mac device).
- iPhone and iPad installed with iOS 8 or later (iPhone 11 (Pro, max), iPhone X, iPhone 8(Plus), iPhone 7(Plus), iPhone 6S and Other Compatible phones, iPad, Apple Watch) support handoff.
- Both (Mac and iOS, Apple Watch) devices logged with same apple ID
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (Same network) turned on Both Mac and iOS device
- Keep Distance between both devices that running handoff should be near as possible.
2. Handoff Setup on Mac
Before proceeding for setup first check you have updated OS X from Mac configuration. You have an Updated version of macOS and follow the below step.
Turn On Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your Mac device,
- Go apple icon from top right menu item bar >System preference > Go with the General option > and enable check for the option for “Allow handoff between this Mac and your iCloud device”
- Also logged in your iCloud account (System preference > iCloud)/ System Preferences > Apple ID > Find the Apple ID. with the same ID used in the iOS devices.
Make your Mac for handoff notification.
Now you have successfully setup handoff on Mac OS X Yosemite device.
3. Handoff setup on iPhone and iPad
- Turn On Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your iPhone/ iPad.
Enable handoff, Go to the Setting > General > AirPlay & Handoff > Enable Handoff. [Handoff lets you start something on one device and instantly pick it up on other devices using your iCloud account. The app you need appears in the app switcher and in the dock on a Mac]
Enable Handoff on iPhone from Settings
Handoff setup is done on your iPhone / iPad that’s running.
4. Handoff On Apple Watch
On Apple Watch, Handoff lets you start something on one device and instantly pick it up on other devices using your iCloud account. Then the app you need appears in the app switcher on your iPhone and in the dock on a Mac. Follow the below steps to enable Handoff on Apple Watch.
- Open Watch App on iPhone.
- Scroll to General >Handoff. Enable the toggle for Handoff. That’s it.
5. How we use handoff on Mac OS & iOS device
- Call and Text: You can call your device from Mac to iPhone/ iPad. At that time notification comes to answer the call for a limited range.
- Continue work from other devices: you can transfer your work from Mac to iPhone/ iPad. For Ex, if you are searching from Safari on Mac then you have to search the same item on iPhone/ iPad, just open iPhone/ iPad lock screen. Safari icon will automatically appear at the bottom of the iPhone/ iPad screen. Tap on it, safari launch automatically with the same searched on Mac. So in iPhone/ iPad, you can do continuously job without re-typing URLs and more.
Handoff notification on iPhone
And on Mac see in below screen,
- Apps works on handoff: you can do the same with handoff supporting apps like Mail, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, and Keynote.
Enable Handoff on iPhone from Settings
You learn how to set up and use Handoff on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Don’t miss out how like this new feature after setup and use Handoff on Mac, and what’s your favorite features inside handoff, toady where are you using and which app’s handoff feature likes you most in below community’s comment box?
Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]
Ever started doing something on your Mac, had to run out of the house, and then wish you finished it? We’ve all been there, and with Handoff, a feature built into the iOS and macOS, you can complete tasks on the go with ease.
An Introduction to Handoff on Mac and iOS
Handoff, which is part of Apple’s suite of continuity features that help Macs and iOS devices work together better, lets you move tasks and data seamlessly from one device to another. Other parts of Continuity include the ability for phone calls coming to your iPhone to ring and be answered on your Mac.
Handoff lets you start writing an email on your iPhone and pass it to your Mac for completion and sending. Or, to map directions to a location on your Mac and then pass to your iPhone for use while you’re driving.
To use Handoff, you need the following things:
- A Mac running OS X Yosemite (version 10.10) or higher.
- An iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 8 or higher.
- An Apple Watch (optional, but it works with Handoff, too).
- Bluetooth enabled on both devices.
- Both devices signed into the same iCloud account using the same Apple ID.
Certain pre-installed apps that come with Macs and iOS devices are Handoff-compatible, including Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Messages, Notes, Phone, Reminders, and Safari. The iWork productivity suite also works: on a Mac, Keynote v6.5 and up, Numbers v3.5 and up, and Pages v5.5 and up; on an iOS device, Keynote, Numbers, and Pages v2.5 and up.
Some third-party apps are also compatible, including Airbnb, iA Writer, The New York Times, PC Calc, Pocket, Things, and more.
How to Enable Handoff
- On both the Mac and iOS devices, make sure you’re signed into iCloud using the same Apple ID.
- On both devices, enable Bluetooth.
- On the Mac, make sure Handoff is turned on by clicking on the Apple menu >System Preferences >General, then check the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
- On the iOS device, tap Settings >General >Handoff (on older versions of the iOS, this is called Handoff & Suggested Apps), then ensure the Handoff slider is moved to on/green.
How to Use Handoff From iOS to Mac
Now that you’ve got Handoff enabled on all your devices you can use it to make your life easier. In this example, we’ll go over how to start writing an email on your iPhone and then move it to your Mac using Handoff. Remember: this is just one way to use Handoff. You can follow this same technique with any Handoff-compatible app.
- Begin by launching the Mail app on your iPhone
- Tap the new mail icon in the bottom right corner.
- Start writing the email. Fill out as much of the email as you want: To, Subject, Body, etc.
- When you’re ready to hand the email off to your Mac, go to your Mac and look at the Dock.
- At the far left end of the Dock, you’ll see the Mail app icon with an iPhone icon on it. If you hover over it, it reads “Mail From iPhone.”
- Click the Mail from iPhone icon.
- Your Mac’s Mail app launches and the email you were writing on your iPhone will load there, ready to be completed and sent.
How to Use Handoff From Mac to iOS
To go the other direction — moving content from a Mac to an iOS device — follow the steps appropriate for the version of the operating system you have. We’ll use getting directions via the Maps app as the example, but like with the previous section, any Handoff-compatible app will work in basically the same way.
If You’re Running iOS 9 and Up
- Launch the Maps app on your Mac and get directions to an address.
- Open the multitasking view by double-clicking the Home button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen on iPhones that don’t have a Home button.
- At the bottom of the screen, look for the name of the app and computer you’re handing off from.
- Tap that and the app will open and load the content from your Mac.
If You’re Running iOS 8
- Launch the Maps app on your Mac and get directions to an address.
- Open the multitasking view (on recent versions of the iOS; if you have an older version, press the Homeor on/off buttons on your iPhone to light up the screen, but don’t unlock it).
- In the bottom left-hand corner, you’ll see the Maps app icon
- Swipe up from that app (you may need to enter your passcode (if you use one)
- When your phone unlocks, you’ll jump to the iOS Maps app, with the directions from your Mac pre-loaded and ready for use.
Handoff also appears in the Dock on iPads running iOS 11 and up. To learn all about the iPad Dock, check out How to Use The Dock In iOS 11 and iOS 12.
Last Updated On Wednesday, August 12, 2020 by GeeksModo Staff
Handoff is a Continuity feature of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs that allows users to start a task on one device and then continue with it on another. For example, you might start reading a web page on your iPad, and then realize you’d rather switch over and read on your iPhone or Mac. With Handoff, making that switch is seamless. No more noting down the URL or emailing it to yourself for opening on a second device. Sounds good, right? Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use Apple Handoff to continue tasks between devices.
You own an iPhone , and maybe another Apple device such as an iPad, Mac or Apple Watch. If you’ve started a given activity on one device and want to continue on another, you can easily do that with Handoff.
Handoff requirements include:
- A mobile device equipped with Bluetooth LE (iPhone 5 or newer, iPad Pro (any version), iPad 4 or newer,
- iPad Air or newer, iPad mini (any version), iPod
touch 5th generation or newer, Apple Watch (any version)
Signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID
Connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- OS X Yosemite or later on Mac,
- iOS 8 or later on iPhone or iPad,
- watchOS 1.0 or later on Apple Watch.
Handoff supports Apple’s built-in apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Mail, Calendar, Maps, Contacts, Reminders, Safari, and Podcasts, however, it supports some third-party apps as well.
How to set up and use Handoff.
Enable Handoff on Mac
Handoff is a feature and not an app, therefore, you don’t have to download anything from the App Store. Instead, you’ll just need to activate the feature on each device. To enable Handoff on Mac, select the Apple menu icon and click on System Preferences > General. Choose the option to “Allow Handoff between this Mac
and your iCloud devices” if it’s not enabled by default.
To disable Handoff on Mac, repeat the above steps but set the toggle to Off.
Enable Handoff on iPhone & iPad
The process is simplified on iOS devices, so you can follow the same process for iPhone and iPad. Simply follow these steps to enable Handoff on iPhone or iPad:
- Start the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad
- Tap General
- Tap Handoff.
- Turn on the switch for Handoff if it’s not already on.
To disable Handoff on iPhone or iPad, repeat the above steps but set the toggle to Off.
Enable Handoff on Apple Watch
- Start the Watch app on your iPhone.
- In the My Watch section, tap on General.
- Finally, turn on the switch to Enable Handoff.
To disable Handoff on Apple Watch, repeat the above steps but set the toggle to Off.
Switching From Mac to iOS
Let’s start by using Handoff to move back and forth between Mac and an iOS device with Safari. Launch Safari app and start searching. Now check your iPad and you
should see an icon for Safari in the Dock. You can easily know this is the Handoff icon because attached to it in the upper-right is a smaller icon that looks like
your Mac. Tap this Handoff icon and the same webpage you were viewing on your Mac opens on your iPad in Safari.
Switching From Mac to iPhone
On an iPhone, you are going to need to reveal the app switcher screen. To launch the app switcher on an iPhone X or later, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. On older iPhone models, double-tap
the Home button. You should see a message for Safari from your Mac. Simply tap on it and you can pick up with the same webpage you were viewing on your Mac.
It can take a couple of seconds or more for the app to launch and your task to transfer over. Once it has, you can pick up right where you left off.
Continuity Between Apps
You can switch between devices using any number of Apple’s built-in apps, and many of them will maintain“Continuity” between written content. If you launch Mail app
on your Mac and start typing a new message, you can then segue to your iPad or iPhone and open up that same email on your other device. Continue
typing the message and then send it.
Other stock apps such as Messages, Maps, and Calendar also work flawlessly with Handoff, allowing you to share text messages, directions, and important dates between
Different Apple devices without losing your place.
Switching From iOS to Mac
You can also move in the reverse direction. Again, we’ll use Safari as an example. Simply launchSafari App on your iOS device and navigate to a webpage of your choice.
On your Mac, you will see the Handoff icon to the left of the Dock. In this case, the icon is for Safari but with the smaller attached icon that mimmicks an iPhone or iPad. Hover over that icon, and a message pops up that it’s for Safari from iPhone or iPad. Click that icon to jump to the same webpage
from your iPhone or iPad.
Maps, Notes, Reminders, and News
Other Apple apps that can work between macOS and iOS include: Notes, Maps and Reminders (above).
also added the News app to Mac, so you can start reading on your iOS device during the commute and pick up at your desk.
Switching From Apple Watch
It’s also easy to share between your Apple Watch and an iOS device. Simply tap the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen. Launch any app such as Messages, Podcasts, News, or Stocks.
Tap the Icon or Notice for Handoff
For Messages, open a previous message or start a new one. On your iOS device, tap the icon or notice for Handoff, and your message will automatically appear on your
iPhone or iPad.
How to use Apple Handoff? Now you know
Now that you’ve learned how to set up and use Handoff on your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, take time to share this article with a friend or social media. We also have plenty of other articles that I suggest you check right now.
Apple’s Handoff feature will make life so much easier for you.
Ever started reading something on your iPhone only to end up wishing you’ve read it on your iPad instead?
So you send the link to yourself via iMessage, and then open the link on your iPad to continue your reading.
Or perhaps you’ve started working on a project on your iPad only to realize later on that things would have been so much easier had you done it on your MacBook? So you email yourself a copy of the project and open your email on your Mac to resume your project from there.
But did you know that you could have just used a feature called Handoff and simply picked up where you left off without having to go through the hassle of sending your self links or emailing yourself copies of the things you’ve been working on?
A lot of Apple users miss out on extremely useful features that come with iOS updates mostly due to the lack of information. One of these very useful features, apparently, is called Handoff.
Just as its name suggests, this feature allows iOS devices to handoff tasks to each other without the need for their users to proactively ask them to do so.
Browse pages on your iPhone’s Safari, put your iPhone down, pick your iPad up and pick up just where you left off on this device’s Safari as soon as you unlock your screen.
It’s almost like magic.
And this feature is not limited to the Safari. It’s a feature readily available for most apps on iOS.
So how do you activate it?
How to check if your device is compatible
Handoff is a feature readily available to all Apple handheld devices running on iOS 9 and above. To verify that your device does have this feature, simply launch the Settings app, tap on General and then verify if you see a part that says Handoff & Suggested Apps.
Enabling the feature
To make sure that this feature is enabled on your device, just go to Settings, select General, select Handoff & Suggested Apps, and make sure that this feature is turned on.
Apart from this, you will also need to make sure that all your devices have a working WiFi connection.
Another thing that you need to make sure is turned on for this feature to work is your devices’ Bluetooth. Verify that Bluetooth is activated across all the devices that you plan to use with Handoff.
How to use Handoff
Once you’ve verified that this feature is enabled on your devices, and that all of these devices have an active WiFi connection with the Bluetooth has been switched on for all of them — you can start using Handoff.
Every time you start a task on a Handoff-enabled app, the icon of the app that you’re using will immediately appear on your other devices, even when they’re locked.
On iPads and iPhones, these icons are usually seen on the lower left hand corner of your device.
To resume the task on another device, simply swipe up from the icon on your other device. At this point, you may be asked to unlock your device if your device is locked — and depending on the security settings you’ve set the device up on, you may be asked to enter your passcode or unlock using Touch ID. Go ahead and unlock your device and the task you started on your other device should now magically appear on this device.
If your device was left unlocked, simply press your device’s Home button twice and you should see the app in the app switcher.
Using Handoff on Mac
To verify that this feature is enabled on your Mac, go to System Preferences, click on General and then put a check on the part that says “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”.
To start using the feature, look for the icon of the app you started using on your other device on the left side of the Mac’s screen where you find the Finder app. Launch the app.
In case your Dock is hidden, simply press and hold the Command button and then press on the Tab key to launch the Mac’s App Switcher. You should see the app you’re looking for at the far left of the screen. Continue to hold the Command button, hold the Shift button, and press the Tab key twice. This should highlight the app. Release the keys to launch the app.
If that doesn’t work for you, simply point at the app using your mouse and then let go of the Command button.
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Handoff makes switching between your Mac, iPhone, and iPad simple. Here’s how to use it and what to do if it’s not working.
Apple designs its products to work best with other Apple devices. As questionable as this practice may be, if you happen to own more than one Apple device you can take advantage of it with useful features like Handoff.
Never used Handoff before? We’re here to show you exactly what it can do and how to use it. If you can’t get Handoff working properly, we’ll even show you the troubleshooting steps you can follow to fix it.
What Is Handoff?
Handoff is an Apple feature that lets you seamlessly switch from one Apple device to another without losing your progress in an app or document.
It’s easiest to explain with an example.
Let’s say you open Mail on your iPad and start replying to an important message. Halfway through, you realize you need to attach a file that’s on your Mac. Rather than starting again from scratch, you can use Handoff to wirelessly transfer your half-written reply from your iPad to your Mac. Then attach the file and carry on right where you left off.
Handoff works with a wide range of different apps:
- and many third-party apps
When you Handoff to a different device, it opens the exact app and document you were using in the exact same state it was in on the first device.
Handoff is the best way to transfer music or podcast playback from one Apple device to another. You can even use Handoff—or Universal Clipboard, to be more precise—to copy something on your iPhone, then paste it on your Mac, or vice versa.
You can use Handoff to switch between a Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and even an Apple Watch (though you can only switch from an Apple Watch, not to one).
How to Use Handoff on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac
Handoff is simple to use. All you need to do is open a compatible app and start using it on the first device, then follow the instructions below to hand the app over to a second device.
You don’t need to do anything special if you only want to copy and paste between different devices, using Universal Clipboard. Simply copy content from one device, then paste on another.
Handoff to an iPhone
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (or double-click the Home button if your iPhone has one) to view the App Switcher. Then tap the banner at the bottom of the screen, which shows an app icon and tells you which device it’s coming from.
With iOS 8 rolling out to iPhones and iPads and those nice shiny little iPods, do you know what all features does it bring along? Of course the new software packs a bunch of new features, that are beneficial both for consumers as well as developers, but what you people want to know is that how these features will make your life easier. Am I right?
Just to fulfill that desire of yours, we have decided to bring you a series, that will explain the features that are coming in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. In this series we will also guide you through the feature functionality and explain how you can make the best use of those features.
Apple with the release of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, have gave yet another reason for people to love them even more.And when you will know of Handoff, things are going to be much much better folks.
Handoff: What is it?
So what exactly is Handoff? Handoff is a new feature that was introduced by Apple in the latest iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. If your are rocking any of these, you can now have the ability to transfer your activity, of any kind, to any Apple device without losing any of your data and strting where you left off.
This means what ever you may be doing, you can just start off on the other device from where you left in one. For example, you can transfer calls from your iPhone to your iPad. Send text messages from your Mac, and play some game in iPhone and transfer it to iPad and start where you left it in the iPhone. Isn’t it cool? Sure it is. I mean who wouldn’t want such a functionality with all their devices?
Handoff is a major step toward connected platforms by Apple. Since it incorporates alot of connected services, it is certainly sure to make a mark on the tech world.
Handoff: What is required?
Since you know what Handoff actually is, and what you will be able to do with it, you will be wondering if that requires some special software/hardware combination of any sort? Rest assured, because what Handoff mostly requires to function is that you already have, or your devices do. Exception is just a WiFi network. Which I don’t think would be a problem these days. So this is the list of what you require:
- iOS 8 (iPhone,iPad,iPod) or OS X Yosemite (Mac).
- Apple ID
- Bluetooth LE (already present in models above and inlcuding iPhone 4s, iPad 2 and iPod touch).
- A WiFi network
So these are the things that you will be needing if you want to use Handoff at your place. However, we need not mention out of common sense,that you need at least two Apple devices too.
Considering you have two apple devices, other things comes all within them, all you have to do now is setup a WiFi network at your place and start using Handoff.
Now, you might wonder why do you need Bluetooth LE and WiFi both? Let us explain that.
Bluetooth LE is used to make sure that it is you who will be accessing the devices, or anyone in your presence. Since Bluetooth have a range limit, only the devices connected through Bluetooth LE, having the same Apple ID signed in, will be able to perform Handoff functionality. Since you can have multiple devices linked with your Apple ID, you may not want to use Handoff in all of them.(Like your Mac at Office while you at home). So Bluetooth LE connectivity ensures that all the devices are within your limit,hence providing security.
Now since Bluetooth LE is used, that means you cannot transfer large amounts of data over it. And some features may need to transfer continuous data, which is not possible with Bluetooth LE. Hence, to transfer the work you were doing to other device, WiFi network is used. Which is also faster than a Bluetooth connection and in addition again ensures that all your devices are within your reach. thus providing additional security. So in actual, WiFi is used for transferring the activity, and Bluetooth is used for security
Handoff: How to do it?
Now the questions comes, I know everything Handoff does and what it requires, but do i use it in real?
You see using Handoff in real is no big deal. It is just a built in feature. Not an extra app or something. All you have to do is fulfill the above requirements and start using Handoff right away. You can do anything from anywhere, like writing emails, watching movies, perform calender tasks, view maps etc on either of your device and without any lag or need to do it all over again.
Since your Apple ID will make sure everything on all your devices in sync with each other, switching to other devices will not be a hassle anymore. Apple is also encouraging developers to include Handoff functionality in their apps so as to provide a unified experience for all the Apple ecosystem.
Developers will also be able to launch apps based on websites.For example if you are using Facebook in Safari on your Mac’s and then want to use it on your iPhone, Handoff can allow Facebook developers to directly open up the Facebook app in your iPhone.
Since other developers are still to incorporate their apps with Handoff, here is the list of apps that are supported by default for Handoff:
Sure that list is small, but considering its ease of use and the reaction it got from the developers, we are sure to see a lot more apps coming with the Handoff functionality in the near future.
This was our first installment of the series explaining the features and functionality of the new perks made available in iOS 8. Let us know in the comments your views about this. What feature would like us to cover in the next installment. Make sure to sound off below, we are listening.
Suppose you’re one of those countless people who use your Mac and iOS devices on the same project. In that case, Handoff on Mac is perfect for you. With Handoff, you can switch between devices to pick up work where you left off. Handoff is part of Apple’s set of continuity features that help Macs and iOS devices work collectively better, allows you to move tasks and data from one device to another.
Handoff lets you start drafting an email on your iPhone and pass it to your Mac to complete and send or to get directions to a place on your Mac and then transfer to your iPhone for use while driving.
Are you trying to pick up on a project across devices? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place then. This article will discuss precisely how you can Handoff tasks from one device to another.
How to Setup Handoff on Mac
To Use Handoff with any Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch, you need to ensure that your devices meet Apple’s Continuity system requirements . To ensure Handoff works while your devices are near each other, follow the steps below.
- The devices you want to use need to be signed in to your iCloud using the same Apple ID.
- Bluetooth turned on each device
- Wi-fi turned on each device
- Handoff turned on each device.
To verify your Apple Watch Apple ID
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
- Tap General
- Tap ID.
Here’s how to turn on Handoff on Mac:
- Choose the Apple menu on the upper left corner.
- Open System Preferences
- Select General
- Check “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”
Here’s how to turn on Handoff on iPhone, Ipad or iPod Touch:
- Open Settings
- Tap General
- Select AirPlay & Handoff, then Tap turn on Handoff.
Here’s how to turn on Handoff on Apple Watch:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone,
- Open General
- Turn on Enable Handoff.
How to Use Handoff On Ios to Continue tasks from Mac
Here are some of the apps that work with Handoff: Safari, Mail, Maps, Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and many third-party apps. For this example, we will be using the Mail App.
- Open the Mail App on your iPhone.
- Tap the new mail icon located in the bottom right corner
- Start composing the email.
- When you’re ready to Handoff the email to your Mac, view the Dock on your Mac.
- You will see the mail icon located in the Dock. When hovering over it, it will state “Mail From iPhone.”
- Select the Mail from iPhone icon. Next, the Mail app will open up on your Mac, with the email being where you left off on your iPhone.
How to Use Handoff on Mac Continue tasks from iOS
- Launch the Mail app on your Mac
- Tap the new mail icon
- Start composing the email.
- When you’re ready to Handoff the email to your iPhone or iPad, swipe up from the bottom to the middle of your screen and hold until you see the App Switcher .
- At the bottom of the screen, look for the Mail app.
- Tap the Mail app. Next, the Mail app will open up on your iPhone or iPad, with the email being where you left off on your Mac.
Handoff is a very nice feature to have when you’re working across multiple Apple devices. How do you use Handoff? How about sending Safari browsing sessions from Mac to iPhone? How else do you use Handoff? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Handoff is a perfect example of Apple’s device integration allowing work on a document that’s open on an iPhone to continue with the same app on a Mac
One of Apple’s first and best Continuity features allows users to start work on a Mac, pick it up on an iPhone, and finish it on an iPad. It happens easily and is almost entirely automatic. The number and order of devices used during this transition don’t matter as long as they are all signed in to the same Apple ID. While the time required to open an app and download the latest version from the cloud isn’t a huge interruption in workflow, switching back and forth throughout is far less bothersome with Apple’s Handoff feature.
Apple was founded in 1976, competing in the relatively new personal computer market. Compared to the expensive, refrigerator-sized mainframes of the time, microcomputers provided a solution for small businesses and even home hobbyist use of computers. Apple wasn’t the first to market with a personal computer or the most widespread, but they were the first to offer color graphics via a connection to a color television, lowering the cost since a dedicated computer monitor would not be required for home use.
Apple is best known for its iPhone, the mobile phone of choice for an overwhelming majority of those living in the United States, but its roots as a computer company shine through when an iPhone is used with a Mac computer. Handoff is the core of Apple’s Continuity features that allows switching from one Apple device to another with little interruption to workflow or thought process. If the same app is installed on an iPhone and a Mac, the app and the current document can be accessed on either device quickly and easily. The same applies to the combination of an iPad and a Mac or an iPad and an iPhone, meaning the transition from the desktop to the sofa and even to the car becomes seamless.
How To Use Apple’s Handoff
Using Handoff is mostly automatic, with Apple’s macOS, iPadOS, and iOS handling the heavy lifting. From the user’s perspective, it only requires a click or a tap to continue work on another device. More specifically, the current app and current document that is open on a Mac will appear on an iPhone in the multitasking view when swiping up from the bottom edge. The Handoff icon will appear at the bottom of the screen and a tap will open it. To switch to an iPad, the same type of bottom-up gesture brings up the dock and the Handoff icon will show as the last app on the right. When transitioning to a Mac, the Handoff icon appears at the end of the dock, to the right for a horizontal dock, or at the bottom when the dock preferences are set for vertical orientation at the left or right edge of the screen.
The only requirement for Handoff to work is for each device to be signed into the same Apple ID and the same app being installed on a somewhat recent Apple device. Compatible devices include those that run iOS 8 or newer, any version of iPadOS, OS X Yosemite, any version of macOS, and any version of watchOS. This means an iPod touch is also compatible. Apple Watch compatibility is more limited, only allowing a Handoff from the watch to the iPhone that it’s paired with. Transitioning to a device signed into another Apple ID is not possible with Handoff, requiring an AirDrop of the document in progress or sharing the file via an iCloud link. Apple’s Handoff is the perfect example of Continuity, an integration of various devices that allows a continuous flow of activity between iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
With iOS8, Apple worked hard to reward its users for having multiple Apple devices by promoting “Continuity” between them. Handoff is a functionality that allows you to start a task on one device and finish it on another.
Apple’s Handoff Icon
Available tasks include writing an email, searching for a location, taking an incoming phone call or even handling your Airbnb bookings. Your iPad and Mac can pick up phone calls from your iPhone, or you can take a New York Times article you didn’t finish on your Mac and finish reading it on your iPhone.
Here’s a video for a quick visual demo, using a simulator to show an iPhone screen side by side with a desktop screen.
Handoff For Users
To have Handoff work well on your devices, there are a few simple requirements:
- It only works for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, so make sure you have your devices updated
- Both of your devices need to be tied into the same iCloud account
- Both of your devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network
- Both devices need to have their Bluetooth turned on
When you are set with those requirements, here’s how you can use Handoff, starting with your phone:
- Open an app on your phone
- On another connected device, find the icon representing the app that’s open on your phone
- For iPad, go to your lock screen and swipe up at the bottom left corner (you can only see the app icon on the lock screen)
- For Mac, tap Handoff app icon on the Dock.
- Tap on that app icon to continue/switch to using it on the iPad or Mac
Phone running Maps and icon automatically available in the dock.
To start with your Mac, simply:
- Open an app on your computer
- On another connected device, double tap the home button to reveal multitasking (all your open apps and favorites, etc.). There will now be available screen representing Handoff.
- Tap on that screen icon to continue/switch to using it on the phone.
Maps open on a computer and icon automatically available on the phone.
Most of Apple’s native apps like Safari, Maps and Email are available for Handoff. Third-party apps with Handoff functionality include Airbnb, NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wunderlist, iA Writer Pro, Quip, Camera Plus and more.
Handoff For Developers
As you can tell, there still aren’t many third-party apps that integrate with Apple’s offering for “Continuity”, so using it in your own development will help your app stand out from your competition in the App Store.
In the future, Handoff has even greater potential. A popular social network like Facebook owns different applications to serve their mobile and Mac users, including its website, the Facebook app and Facebook Messenger. Eventually, smaller social network companies could skip the development for a separate application for Mac users. This competitive advantage for developers also applies to apps in other categories. However, developers should expect extended testing before launching a Handoff app and consider guiding first-time Handoff users through the process.
If the existing app or newly developed app is document based, the app can choose to automatically support Handoff. Otherwise, developers should identify which activity in the app could be handed off. Best practices for implementing Continuity require careful design, including avoiding transferring large amount of data, ensuring different versions of the app work well on different platforms and saving the activity object before updating the Handoff activity state.
High Barrier to Entry
So what are the drawbacks of Handoff? To start with, users have to verify a multitude of settings before actually being able to do anything useful. They need to first enable Handoff, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, then make sure they have updated OS versions and then log into their iCloud. And you have to repeat this process on every device you own.
If I have a phone call coming in in and don’t already have all of this ready to go, there is no way I can successfully pick up my phone call on my Mac in the 45-second standard holding time. While I’d most likely have the correct OS’s installed and same iCloud accounts, remembering or taking the effort to ensure both my devices are on the same Wi-Fi network AND have Bluetooth turned on is a lot to ask.
What is Apple’s Plan?
Apple’s marketing slogan (“iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Connected like never before.”) clearly illustrates why they created Handoff. They want to ensure their customers can use whatever device they need at the right moment without an awkward transition between devices.
Apple’s long-term effort to improve user experience across platforms has created a sustainable competitive advantage for the next five to ten years. Because each Apple product is so highly integrated with others, it’s very hard for competitors running Google’s Android to duplicate this experience. The network effect between devices created by “Continuity” could be very helpful for Apple maintaining customers. Apple hopes “Continuity” will be so successful that you will using it everyday, as people already are with iCloud and AirDrop.
Apple’s new feature makes your life easier
- How to back up your iPhone or Apple device easily?
- How to un-send an email in Gmail after 30 seconds
A pple have officially introduced a new feature called Universal Control for users who need to use their MacBook trackpad to control what they do on other Apple devices.
Universal Control can be used with up to three devices for users who have updated their operating systems to macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, both of whom will be introduced this autumn.
For those who decide against upgrading their machines, they can take part in the beta testing process from July, 2022.
How to Use Universal Control on your Apple devices
For the Universal Control to work, your devices have to be upgraded to the aforementioned operating systems and they also must be connected to the same iCloud account.
Easy steps to activate and use Universal Control
- Click the Apple icon on your Mac.
- Click Preferences and then General
- Click Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices box.
- Then, open Settings on your iPad
- Tap General.
- Tap AirPlay & Handoff.
- Turn on Handoff toggle.
- Tap the Cursor and Keyboard toggle to turn it on.
- Place your iPad near your Mac and move your mouse pointer horizontally until a bar appears on the side of the display and it appears on the iPad screen.
- Your keyboard and mouse will now work on the iPad.
What can you do with Universal Control
After activating Universal Control, you will be able to move your mouse between your devices in the same way as you would do in the event you’d use two monitors.
With the new Apple feature, you also have the option to use your keyboard once you move your mouse pointer to the iPad screen.
This way, you can also drag and drop files between devices in the event you are interested in transferring items such as documents, images, or media.
Step-by-step guide to set up and use Handoff on Apple devices
How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you are performing some task on your phone, and after some time, want to continue (where you left off) it on another device? Well, if you have been in such a situation numerous times, Apple has a neat little Continuity feature, called Handoff, that allows you to do the same. So let’s dive in and see how to set up and use Handoff on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
What is Handoff?
To give you a primer – Handoff is a feature present on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple Watch, which allows you to start a task on one device and pick up where you left off on another device. It is a part of a suite of Apple’s Continuity features that helps devices work together and share tasks and data seamlessly. The apps that support this feature include Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. And also, a few third-party apps like Pocket, Wunderlist, Things, Airbnb, and more. But before we jump in and look at the setup process, let’s first consider a use case scenario with an example.
As an example, one of the use-case scenarios for this feature would be when, say, you are at home, replying to an email on your Mac, and have to go out abruptly. But, you can’t afford to hold-up on that email and need to finish it on time. With Handoff, you can continue where you left off (on your Mac) and finish it on your other device (say, iPhone).
To use Handoff, there are a few requirements that you need to check, like:
- Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch should be running on iOS 8 or later, Mac on OS X Yosemite or later, and Apple Watch on watchOS 1.0 or later.
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff should be turned ON on each device.
- Each device should be signed-in to iCloud using the same Apple ID.
- Each device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi.
How to Set Up Handoff?
To be able to use Handoff and move tasks across devices, let’s first set it up using the following steps.
Enable Handoff on iPhone / iPad / iPod touch
1. Open Settings from the home screen.
2. Tap General > Handoff.
3. Switch the ‘Handoff’ toggle to ON.
Enable Handoff on Mac
1. Open the Apple () Menu and go to System Preferences.
2. Click on General, and right at the bottom, check the box that says, ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices’.
Enable Handoff on Apple Watch
1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
2. Tap on General, and toggle the ‘Enable Handoff’ switch to ON.
How to Use Handoff?
As mentioned above, the feature is currently only supported on a handful of apps. So it’s likely that an app you want to ‘handoff’, might not be supported.
With that said, here’s an example, using the Safari app, on how to use Handoff.
1. Open an app (that supports the feature) on either your iPhone / iPad / iPod touch, Mac, or Apple Watch.
2. Start performing the task on the app.
3. Now, to continue working on where you left (on this device), on another device. If you’re switching to:
- iPhone / iPad / iPod touch
Open the app switcher with either a double press of the home button or a swipe-up gesture (on iPhones without a home button) on your device and tap on the banner (with the name of the app you want to handoff from another device) at the bottom of the screen.
Click the app icon (the one you want to handoff from another device), in the Dock.
As soon as you open the app (handed-off) from another device, you will see the content of the app, in the same state you left off. But, a thing to note here is that in some cases, it might take time before an app appears for Handoff. And in scenarios, when it does not show up, you might need to sign-out from iCloud and then sign back in on your device.
Once you sign in with your Apple ID on all of your Apple devices, you can use Continuity features like Handoff to work seamlessly between the devices, say your Mac and iPhone. However, it may not work properly at times due to connection issues. Now, if you’re facing Handoff issues on your Mac and iPhone/ iPad or if it’s not working at all, you can follow the steps below to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
Fix Handoff Issues Between Mac and iPhone/ iPad
For starters, the Handoff feature lets you start work on one device, then switch to another nearby device and pick up where you left off. Apart from it, Continuity also facilitates cellular calls, universal clipboard, text message forwarding, instant hotspot, AirDrop, Apple Pay, and whatnot.
Now, if there’s an issue between connecting the two devices, all other Continuity features, including Handoff, will not work properly. In that case, you can follow the steps below to fix the possible issues.
Make Sure WiFi and Bluetooth are Enabled
Make sure that both Wifi and Bluetooth are enabled on your Mac and iPhone or iPad. You can swipe up to open the Control Centre and click the toggles for Wifi and Bluetooth on the iPhone. Whereas, on Mac, you can check icons in the Menu Bar to see if they’re enabled.
Mac and iOS Device (iPhone/ iPad) Should be on the Same Wifi network.
Continuity features work only when both the devices are on the same network. So, make sure that your iPhone and Mac are connected to the same Wifi for features like handoff, calls, and messages to work properly.
At times, your devices may switch to different networks based on the signal strength. As a result, Handoff will not work at all between your Mac and iPhone.
Ensure that Handoff is Enabled On iOS Device.
Check if HandOff is turned on your iPhone or iPad. You can turn it on by heading to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff and enabling the toggle. Ensure that low-power mode is disabled as it automatically turns off handoff to save power.
Ensure that Handoff is Enabled On Your Mac
Next, check whether if you’ve enabled Handoff on your Mac. To do so, head to Apple Menu > System Preferences, click General, then check the box for “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”
Sign Out and In Again with Your Apple ID
If the above troubleshooting steps don’t work, you can sign out and sign in back again with your Apple ID on your Mac, as follows:
- On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Then, click on Apple ID and select Overview in the sidebar.
- Click Sign Out.
- Now, log in again with your Apple ID.
Note that both devices should be logged into the same Apple ID. Handoff or other Continuity features will not work if Apple ID is different.
Check if Handoff Works After Troubleshooting
Follow the steps below to check if Handoff is working after doing all the troubleshooting above.
- Open an app that works with Handoff like Mail, Maps, Pages, etc.
- Start doing a task on the app, like writing an email or note.
- Now, click the app’s icon on the left side of the Dock to continue the task on your Mac.
- If you’re switching from Mac to iPhone, open the App Switcher and tap the app banner at the bottom of the screen.
So, this was a quick guide on how you can fix the Handoff not working issue between your Mac and iPhone or iPad. Anyway, were you able to fix Handoff issues on your device? Do let us know in the comments below. If you have any other doubts or queries, please feel free to drop a comment below.
It’s simpler — and cleverer — than I expected
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The best moment of this year’s WWDC keynote was a straightforward demo of a macOS feature, Universal Control. The idea is simple enough: it allows you to use the keyboard and trackpad on a Mac to directly control an iPad, and even makes it simple to drag and drop content between those devices.
What made the demo so impressive is how easy and seamless it all seemed. In a classic Apple move, there was no setup required at all. The segment happened so fast that it even seemed (incorrectly, as it turns out) like the Mac was able to physically locate the iPad in space so it knew where to put the mouse pointer.
After Zaprudering the clip and asking Apple a few questions, I now have a better understanding of what’s going on here. It turns out that the entire system is actually simpler than it first appears. It’s essentially a new way to use a bunch of technologies Apple had already developed. That’s not a knock on Universal Control — sometimes the best software features are a result of clever thinking instead of brute force technological improvements.
So here’s what’s happening in that demo.
First, you need to get the iPad and Mac relatively close to each other. Universal Control is built off the same Continuity and Handoff features that have long been a part of iOS and macOS. When the devices are close enough, their Bluetooth modules let each other know. Of course, all the devices here need to be on the same iCloud account for this to work.
Then, you start up Universal Control by dragging your mouse pointer all the way to the left or right edge of your Mac’s screen, then a little bit beyond that edge. When you do, the Mac will assume that you’re trying to drag the mouse over to another device, in this case the iPad.
So there’s no UWB location detection, just good old assumption. One note is that if you have lots of compatible devices, Monterey assumes that you’re dragging towards the last iPad or Mac you interacted with.
At this point, a Wi-Fi Direct connection is made and the iPad will show a small bar on the side with a little bump. It’s a sort of indicator that the iPad is aware you’re trying to drag a mouse into it. Keep dragging and pow, the bump breaks free into a circular mouse pointer. When the mouse is on the iPad screen, both it and the keyboard on your Mac control the iPad. Move it back to the Mac, and you control the Mac.
But there’s a clever little affordance built into that strange bar. There are a couple of arrows inside it, a hint that you can slide that bump up or down before it breaks free into the iPad itself. Doing that is how you line up the iPad’s screen with your Mac’s, so that dragging the mouse between the screens doesn’t result in a weird jump.
You go through the same process to set up a second device with Universal Control — it maxes out at three. If all this automatic setup sounds like a hassle, you can just go into system preferences and set a device as your preferred Universal Control buddy gadget.
However you set it up, you can drag and drop content between devices and it’ll use either Wi-Fi Direct or USB to transfer the files. Of course, if you’re dragging files into the iPad, make sure you have an app open (like Files) that can accept it.
That’s pretty much the long and the short of it. There are still some details to hash out, Apple tells me, and it isn’t available in the first developer preview. If you put your dock on the left or right edge of the screen, for example, it’s unclear if this whole setup will work.
What’s fascinating to me about this system — as I discuss in the video above — is that it’s only really possible because of a long series of software enhancements that have been built into the iPad over the years, including:
- Continuity, Handoff, and AirDrop. Universal Control isn’t technically AirDrop, but it’s the same basic idea. All of these are the basic ways that Apple devices communicate directly with each other instead of through the cloud.
- Multitasking. I’m not referring to split-screen, but the support for drag-and-drop that came along with the improved windowing options on the iPad.
- Keyboard and mouse support. That’s an obvious pre-requisite, but it wasn’t always obvious that Apple would put mouse support into the iPad.
- Sidecar. Sidecar’s the tool that lets you use an iPad as a second Mac monitor. I don’t think that Universal Control uses the same bits of software as Sidecar, but I do think that there were probably lessons there about latency that would prove useful here.
I had a hunch that there would be a similar story of evolution on the Mac side of this story. I figured that all the iPad and iOS technologies finding their way into the Mac with the last few releases played a part. Catalyst apps turned into native iPad apps for M1 Macs. Control Center, Shortcuts, and Focus mode all are iOS things that are also on the Mac.
Nice idea, but wrong. Apple tells me that the foundation on the Mac side is as simple as it seems, based on Continuity and Handoff.
I hope that Universal Control works as well in the real world as it did in this staged demo — and I know that’s no sure thing. But what I like about the feature is how it’s just a clever recombination of existing technologies that Apple had already built for other purposes.
Inside the Apple ecosystem, you expect that the trade you’re making for only using Apple devices is getting synergistic integrations like this. They’ve actually been rarer than I would have guessed the past few years. But as the Mac and the iPad start trading more and more features with each other, I expect we’ll see more of them going forward.