iOS 8: Accessing Handoff with Your Device Unlocked

Using Handoff to swap between your iOS devices and your Mac to complete documents, emails, and messages is a neat new ability we’ve got with iOS 8 and Yosemite. Opening a Handoff-capable program on your Mac (and, if necessary, firing up an email or a document) will let you swipe up from the lower-left corner of your lock screen to continue that work on your iOS device:

There’s a part of this that a lot of folks don’t know, however. You don’t actually need to lock your iPhone or iPad to access your Handoff stuff; all you’ve gotta do is go to the so-called App Switcher, which you’ll see whenever you double-click your Home button. I’ve talked about the App Switcher recently (and how you can change what contacts appear at the top of the screen), but to see what Handoff has waiting for you, just swipe from left to right there.

As you can see, that’ll reveal what you can access from your Mac (or your other iOS devices), and you’ll just tap that to open your work on your current gadget. Got it? Double-click the Home button, then swipe left to right.

If you’re having trouble getting this to work, though, be sure to check out Apple’s support article on the system requirements and settings needed to use Handoff. That should give you all of the info you need to swap documents between your compatible devices!