What is Handoff in iOS 8?

Handoff ImageIn iOS 8, Apple introduced a new feature called Handoff, which allows you to start a task on one device and seamlessly switch to another device to continue working. For example, you can start composing an email on your iPhone and if you decide you would rather use a bigger keyboard, simply grab your iPad or Mac and continue typing the email. If you are reading a web page on your iPad, you can view the same link on your iPhone.

Handoff is part of a seamless integration between devices Apple calls Continuity. Another feature of Continuity is the ability to answer calls on your iPad.  If you are using your iPad when your iPhone rings, you can answer the call on the iPad rather than putting the iPad down and picking up the iPhone. You can also initiate phone calls from the iPad.

To use Handoff and Continuity, iOS devices need to be using iOS 8 and Mac computers need to be running OS X Yosemite. The feature is supported by most newer Apple devices including the iPhone 5 or later, iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, iPod touch (5th generation), and most newer model Macs.


Setup Handoff

Handoff is enabled automatically when iOS 8 is installed on a device. You can find the control settings under Settings -> General -> Handoff & Suggested Apps. If you have issues getting Handoff to work, try toggling the slider for Handoff off then back on again.


Some other things to remember, you need to be signed into the same Apple ID for iCloud on all your devices and Bluetooth must be enabled.

Handoff Settings Handoff Slider


Using Handoff

When using an app on one device, you can activate Handoff from the lock screen on a different device. You will see a small icon of the app you are using appear in the lower left corner of the lock screen. Activate Handoff by swiping up on the small app icon.

Activate Handoff

The app you were using on the original device will automatically open and load the information you were viewing.


If your device is not at the lock screen, you can also activate Handoff from the App Switcher. On a Mac, a Handoff app icon will be visible on the left side of the dock.

App Switcher Handoff


Make Phone Calls from the iPad With Continuity

With Continuity, calls to an iPhone can be answered on an iPad as a speakerphone using the iPad’s microphone and speakers. You can initiate phone calls from the iPad using the Audio tab in the FaceTime app, or by tapping on a phone number in the Contacts app.

FaceTime Audio Call
For the calling feature to work, your devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.