Handoff is a new Continuity feature from Apple that lets you easily move the thing you’re doing between devices. Say you’re on your Mac reading an article in Safari, organizing tasks in Things, or writing in Quip (one of my favorites)—it’s easy to pick up right where you left off on your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how:

  • Swipe up on your Lock Screen – the icon of the app or service you’re using on your Mac will appear in the lower left of your iOS device’s Lock screen, opposite the Camera icon. Tap and flip up on that icon, just as you would the Camera icon to unlock and go straight to that task.
  • Double-tap the Home button – If you’re already unlocked, double-tap the Home button and swipe to the right, all the way past your homescreen, to find a ‘page’ with an app or service icon, with text below: “From [your Mac’s name].” Tap that page to open the related app and keep doing your thing.

Note that Handoff requires iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be enabled, but your devices do not have to be on the same Wi-Fi network (though, in my experience, it helps). Your devices also have to be using the same iCloud account. I think this is partly for the sake of simplicity, but also to prevent other people from using Handoff to pull your work or private information off your devices.

Also note that Handoff must be directly supported by websites, apps, and services. While you can hand off any ol’ Safari webpage between your Mac and iOS devices (and back), Quip and the New York Times are two of the few that will actually open their equivalent app on iOS, not just their webpages. If something you use does not yet support Handoff, consider reaching out to its makers and asking nicely to add it.

You May Also Like

A quick list of new iPadOS features that (mostly) weren’t mentioned on stage

There are a *lot* of major and ‘big little’ changes coming in iPadOS. Here are some of my favorite picks.

For me, Twitter has become an ethical and professional dilemma

A tool built for social good devolved into a profitable machine for hate.

A brief list of major features far too many iPad apps still don’t support

Essential iPad features as old as iOS 9 still have not seen the broad adoption we need.

Early thoughts on iPadOS

This is a major quality-of-life improvement across the board for the iPad.