Handoff and Universal Control are not working on iPadOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3
iPadOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 were released on 27th March 2023. These versions had a lot of internal security updates and tons of bug fixes. macOS 13.3 also got some critical security patches.
iPadOS 16.4 brings Web Push for web app notifications. If developers take advantage of the API, you can get notifications in your notification center/ lock screen if you opt into subscriptions on web applications. They’ll show up normally on your lock screen.
Web Apps on the home screen can now request permission from users for notifications. You can normally manage notification permissions in Settings. That’s the only major new feature for iPadOS. Unicode 15.0 Emoji support also adds 21 new emojis to iPadOS.
There are some bug fixes too. Earlier, there were issues with Apple Homekit, Safari, iCloud Drive, and the iWork Suite. There were some new SwiftUI features too. macOS didn’t have too many changes, but both of these updates are, unfortunately, unstable.
Since the updates didn’t bring too many new features, we expected it to be stable without any experience-breaking bugs. iOS 16.4 was more or less stable in our testing, except for some Face ID bugs.
However, iPadOS and macOS are causing many problems and bugs with the ecosystem features.
One of the best features in the Apple ecosystem is Handoff. If you open an app like Safari or Notes on your iPad, you can conveniently continue what you were doing on your Mac. This feature is Handoff, and you’re “handing off” the task to another device.
It also works with Calendar, Pages, Safari, Notes, and many third-party apps. You’ll have to turn on Continuity and Handoff from Settings. The devices should share the same iCloud account, and you must also turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
It’s convenient to start typing a lengthy paragraph or an E-Mail on your iPad and then finish it on your Mac. Continuity is an extension of this feature- you can take calls on your Mac, turn on your phone’s Hotspot, seamlessly transfer data, etc.
Another important feature is the recent Universal Control. If you have a compatible iPad and Mac and you turn it on from Settings, it’s a very useful ecosystem perk.
With it, you can control your iPad and Mac from the same keyboard and trackpad. You can easily drag and drop files between them and seamlessly move your cursor from one device to another.
Since these are very useful in daily life, it’s understandable that frustrated users are complaining about the broken ecosystem features. Many people on a thread on Apple Forums describe that Handoff and Universal Control are broken on the latest versions.
These features were working perfectly fine before the update. The app icon for handoff doesn’t show up. AirDrop is buggy, and the universal clipboard doesn’t work. Others report that the Apple Watch no longer unlocks the Mac.
There are some potential workarounds to this. You can try logging out and back into iCloud, restarting your devices, or toggling the features off and on. These are only temporary solutions since the bugs creep back later for some people.
New updates are already out, namely iPadOS 16.4.1 and macOS 13.3.1, the release notes do not mention fixing any ecosystem features. Since there’s no official acknowledgement, we can’t tell when the problems will be fixed.