Q: The new Handoff feature is a cool idea, as I’m one of those guys who’s always flipping between my iMac and my iPhone. Going from my iPhone to my Mac seems super easy — the icon just shows up by the Dock and I click it. However, on my iPhone I don’t see the Handoff icon appear unless the iPhone is at the lock screen, so it’s not so easy going the other way. Is something broken here, or did Apple really intend for us to have to re-lock our iPhones and re-enter our passwords every time we want to hand a page off? Is this a security thing? It just seems so confusing for a feature that is otherwise supposed to “just work.”
A: You’re correct that the Handoff icon won’t appear anywhere on your iPhone home screen, probably an intentional design decision because there’s really no room for it, and overlaying it would risk having it get in the way when you’re using your iPhone and you don’t want to actually hand something off. The good news, however, is that you can access something being handed off without having to return to the lock screen. Simply bring up the App Switcher by double-clicking the Home button, and then swipe to the very left of the Home screen.
Here you should see a blank page with the icon of the app being handed off from your Mac or other iOS device, and the name of the device that it’s coming from. Simply tap anywhere on that blank screen to load the handed off app. Keep in mind that like the Handoff icons on your Mac and iPhone lock screen, this page only appears if there’s something available for Handoff.