How to use Handoff with iOS 12

Handoff lets you pass activities between iOS and macOS, but iOS 12 makes it easier.

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Apple designed Handoff to make it easier to work seamlessly between a Mac and iOS. If you’re reading a text message on one device and pick up the other, you can open up to where you left off. Viewing a webpage? Handoff lets you bring up the same page on the other device with a click or a tap.

But for a couple of versions at least, notifications in iOS interfered with Handoff. You could see a Safari icon on the lock screen, for example, and if notifications were also on the screen, using the swipe-up gesture to open that Safari page didn’t work. I eventually stopped trying.

I can see I wasn’t alone: Apple gave up, too! In iOS 12, Handoff icons no longer appear on the lock screen. Instead, they’re in a better, smart, more accessible place—the app switcher!

  1. Bring up the app switcher on your iOS device. On an iPhone X or later or an iPad, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. On other iPhones, double-click the Home button.
  2. The Handoff option appears as a banner beneath the apps. Tap it, and it opens the right file, URL, or snippet in the correct app.
mac911 handoff with safari ios12 IDG

Handoff now appears below the app switcher, showing the app icon and device name of the shared item.

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