Some Mac users, specifically those with Macs that don’t support Bluetooth LE, weren’t too happy to find out that meant they would likely not get to use Apple’s new Handoff feature to seamlessly switch between apps across Macs and iOS devices.  To be clear, Apple has not yet confirmed details of device compatibility for most Yosemite features, but some users have reported that only Mid 2011 MacBook Airs, Mid 2012 MacBook Pros, late 2012 iMacs, and 2013 Mac Pro or newer models– the Macs that include Bluetooth LE– appear to support the feature. We’ve learned from people with knowledge of the matter that Apple is still testing the feature and yet to finalize which Macs will be capable of supporting it.

If Apple does indeed decide that the feature will require Macs with Bluetooth LE, it is possible some older models would be able to use third-party Bluetooth LE adapters to get access to the feature. While that might not include all Macs and all adapters, the good news is it’s possible. Netkas.org, for example, was able to get Continuity features working by using an adapter installed into a previous gen Mac Pro:

Sometimes macrumors aren’t completely right… My 2008 MacPro (so old) has a wifi card from some new imacs/mbp installed with adapter to mini-pcie slot. It gives me 802.11ac AND bluetooth 4.0, no need to remove old bt card, as new one is preferred over old one… Continuity is supported:

The Handoff feature allow users to easily switch between devices and pick up where they left across any of their Apple devices. Earlier this month we reported that Apple TV would also likely be gaining access to the Handoff feature as part of Apple’s “Continuity” suite of features it previewed ahead of the upcoming release of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

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20 Responses to “Apple still finalizing support for Continuity features on older Macs, Bluetooth LE adapters a possibility”

  1. my 2013 mac mini is listed as support


  2. This is comforting news. I hope my 2011 MacBook Pro ends up being capable even if it needs an add on. I wouldn’t mind the excuse to get a new retina MacBook though.


  3. patstar5 says:

    So my mid 2010 macbook pro with intel core 2 duo 13 inch will be supported by yosemite? Thinking of upgrading to ssd and maybe using an optibay and replace the cd drive with hdd. Anyone know where to take it? I tried upgrading ram myself and fried something with the screen, cost me $300 for apple store to fix it.


    • Tim Jr. says:

      I think handoff will likely depend on what Bluetooth LE adaptor you choose.. they might well end up with a 3rd party list of adaptors that can add the support.

      Others tried an adaptor and it didn’t work.. but that just might be that not all Bluetooth 4.0 adaptors are created equal in OS X and only certain ones will work..

      I’d like to know what adaptor he used in his Mac Pro to get it to work..


    • jkytle3 says:

      I heard Other World Computing is a really good spot for upgrading Mac hardware.


  4. I know my MBA 2012 is supported, would be cool if my 2009 iMac is… Furthermore, hoping my 4s is.


  5. anthonyjrwtf says:

    I’m mainly confused when considering the original description of Handsoff included the concept of your phone being in the other room and “as long as the computers are on the same network.” I’m hoping that the feature set their testing first is getting the service to work with Bluetooth for non-network proximity, and the Wifi-type will be implemented later.

    Does Bluetooth 4.0 really have the range to be in another room like originally talked about? Does it need to talk to the Wifi network? Just hoping to hear some thoughts to see if my hypothesis is correct.


    • squuiid says:

      As promised, here are the results using the above GMYLE BT 4.0 dongle on a Macbook Pro 2010.
      On Yosemite Dev preview 2 continuity is a NO GO:

      Apple Bluetooth Software Version: 4.3.0d54 14222
      Hardware, Features, and Settings:
      Name: MBP
      Bluetooth Low Energy Supported: Yes
      Continuity Supported: No
      AirDrop Supported: No
      Manufacturer: Broadcom
      Transport: USB
      Chipset: 20702A3
      Firmware Version: v14 c4096
      Bluetooth Power: On
      Discoverable: Off
      Connectable: No
      Auto Seek Pointing: On
      Remote wake: On
      Vendor ID: 0x0A5C
      Product ID: 0x21E8
      HCI Version: 0x6
      HCI Revision: 0x1000
      LMP Version: 0x6
      LMP Subversion: 0x220E
      Device Type (Major): Computer
      Device Type (Complete): Mac Portable


  6. I have a MacBook Pro Early 2008 which doesn’t support AirDrop so I’m not the least bit surprised that it wouldn’t support the HandOff feature. Any Mac that’s 6+ years old shouldn’t expect every new feature under the sun. Even the iPhone 4S, that’s only 3 years old, won’t support every iOS 8 feature.


  7. Frank Sim says:

    my macbook pro of early 2011 is not supported. apple should make more macbook supported.


  8. Can anyone explain this? I have a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro, apparently with Bluetooth 4.3. However BLE isn’t supported, but continuity is…


  9. I have an iMac 27-inch, Mid 2011 and the Apple Bluetooth Software Version 4.3.0d54 14222 (the same as the one in the article) but it says.
    Bluetooth Low Energy Supported: No
    Continuity Supported: No
    AirDrop Supported: No

    What is the problem?


  10. Mike Palomba says:

    Im not on Yosemite but I have a hackintosh running 10.9.4. I have use a bluetooth 4.0 dongle with a brodacom 20702A3 chipset. My magic trackpad and magic mouse have to problem staying continually connected to it, so shouldn’t it be supported in Yosemite? Has anyone tired with this bluetooth dongle and had any luck?