Bluetooth LE Adapters Don't Enable OS X Yosemite's 'Handoff' on Older Macs

Over the past few days, we've been exploring some of the system requirements for Apple's Continuity features such as Handoff, noting that an apparent requirement of Bluetooth LE support for Handoff would leave out a number of older Macs that are otherwise compatible with OS X Yosemite.

mail_handoff
In discussing the limitations for Handoff support, some MacRumors forum members suggested that adding an inexpensive third-party Bluetooth LE adapter to an older Mac might be enough to add support for the feature. Unfortunately, several forum members have discovered that this does not appear to be the case.

One forum member has shared details of their testing, noting that in tests with a 2010 MacBook Air that does not include built-in support for Bluetooth LE, adding IOGEAR's Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter works out of the box to add Bluetooth LE support to the machine, but does not enable support for Continuity features such as Handoff or AirDrop.

bt_adapter_continuity

System information for 2010 MacBook Air with IOGEAR Bluetooth LE adapter

While OS X Yosemite remains in beta testing and things could change before final release, it appears that Bluetooth LE support alone is not sufficient to enable Handoff and that Apple is instead enforcing a stricter requirement for built-in Bluetooth LE support, perhaps by defining specific models that are able to use the feature.

Beyond Handoff, Apple is also adding a number of other features under the Continuity umbrella, not all of which require Bluetooth LE support. For example, the new phone relay feature that will allow users to make and receive iPhone calls right from their Macs relies on Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth, meaning that more devices should be compatible with this feature and it is likely to work over longer distances.

OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are scheduled to launch to the public in the fall of this year, likely around the September-October timeframe.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
80 months ago

Time to upgrade people!


says the person with unlimited income?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
As long as the SMS & Calls work over Wifi I'll be happy.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
This is beta for a reason, file a bug.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
It's a bit ridiculous that if you spent thousands on a new Mac Pro in early 2013 that you can't use this feature even if you get an adapter. I understand why it only works on Bluetooth LE, and it should remain that way because of the low energy usage, but it definitely should work with an adapter. The adapter is completely pointless on a laptop, but for iMac and Mac Pro it should be an option.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
I know Apple is in the business of selling computers, but I don't see this as a sole reason to upgrade machines. Maybe a slight reason, but still nice try Tim Cook.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
Really sucks for those that don't have a 'newer' Mac.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...