Yosemite 'Handoff' Feature Likely Limited to Macs with Bluetooth LE

Over the weekend, we posted a story that Apple's Handoff feature was limited to Macs that support the Bluetooth 4.0/LE specification. Handoff/Continuity allows OS X and iOS device users to seamlessly transition between the two operating systems. However, there was some debate about the accuracy of that claim at the time, though now it seems almost certain to be true.

Bluetooth 4.0 was was first introduced in the MacBook Air and Mac mini in Mid 2011. The feature has since made its way into later Mac releases, finally coming to every Mac as of the 2013 Mac Pro.

Apfeleimer put together this nice graph showing which Macs support Bluetooth 4.0/LE.

osx-yosemite-bluetooth-4.0-le-apfeleimer
The full bars represent Macs that can run OS X Yosemite, while only Mac models in the green bar timeframes support the required Bluetooth protocol for Handoff. For iOS users, the iPad 2 is the only device that is capable of running iOS 8 but doesn't come with hardware support for Bluetooth LE.

There was some uncertainty about this being an absolute requirement, though in the WWDC sessions, Apple clearly states that Handoff runs on Bluetooth LE technology. However, now with the release of Yosemite Developer Preview 2, Apple has added a new field for Continuity Support in the System Information. The new field falls under the Bluetooth category:

btleon

Owners of late generation Macs seem to be showing Continuity support in line with the chart above, while older Mac owners are seeing Continuity support set to "No". It's not yet clear if adding a 3rd party Bluetooth 4.0 dongle will enable support on older Macs.

OS X Yosemite is in developer beta right now and will be released to customers later this year. Handoff support in the early betas remain spotty, so even those with supported devices may not see the feature working. Apple, of course, could change requirements over time.

Top Rated Comments

Ddyracer Avatar
96 months ago
Does handoff really need BT 4.0? Or is Apple just being Apple as usual?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DCYorke Avatar
96 months ago
Does handoff really need BT 4.0? Or is Apple just being Apple as usual?

Yes, it's a real requirement. No, a shell script won't enable it.

They are being Apple. They started putting BT 4.0 in their products years ago, before the features required them so that now, when they're putting the features in, a good number of iOS and Macs have the hardware.

The technology behind handoff is the same as AirDrop in iOS and iBeacon. BT LE allows devices to advertise their physical presence without using much power. BT LE is the only technology currently available that offers this.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
96 months ago
Just made it :D

----------

Recent!?
3 years old in the technology world is ancient.
For phones, maybe. Computers are a bigger investment and many people use them for 5 years before replacing them.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Diastro Avatar
96 months ago
Well ****, my mid-2011 iMac... Only 3 years old, but not compatible with the latest software.. *hangs head*
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Estagmar Avatar
96 months ago
So, for a huge amount of people Yosemite is going to be just a new look, great. They should have ended the WWDC presentation with "oh, and almost all of these new features won't work on most of the Macs out there".
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
96 months ago
Here's to hoping there's a shell command or tweak that will enable support on older machines.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
ryanscoolios13thumbnail

Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

Tuesday October 15, 2019 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September. The iOS and iPadOS 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update....
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS and iPadOS 14.6 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday May 10, 2021 10:13 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of new iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the second iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates. iOS and iPadOS 14.6 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS and iPadOS 14.6 appear to be more minor changes focusing on...