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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:38 PM   #1
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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.

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:


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.

Article Link: Yosemite 'Handoff' Feature Likely Limited to Macs with Bluetooth LE
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:40 PM   #3
DavidBlack
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Yay! All my Macs are supported.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:41 PM   #4
stark93
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Apple could make hand off with all devices if they used wifi.
Bluetooth is so inefficient!
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:41 PM   #5
jhwalker
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Guess I'm out - got my 'late 2011' MacBook Pro in early 2012, only two years old
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:41 PM   #6
ghostface147
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Sorry, I'd rather keep my 17" MacBook Pro instead of dealing with handoff and continuity.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:41 PM   #7
Ddyracer
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Does handoff really need BT 4.0? Or is Apple just being Apple as usual?
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:41 PM   #8
aajeevlin
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Originally Posted by AustinIllini View Post
Welp. I'm out
Same here. I had a feeling my machine was not going to be included from the beginning. I can't even do Airplay...
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:42 PM   #9
afsnyder
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Originally Posted by stark93 View Post
Apple could make hand off with all devices if they used wifi.
Bluetooth is so inefficient!
Wifi... takes a bit of battery too.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:42 PM   #10
AngerDanger
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Here's to hoping there's a shell command or tweak that will enable support on older machines.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:43 PM   #11
Diastro
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Well ****, my mid-2011 iMac... Only 3 years old, but not compatible with the latest software.. *hangs head*
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:44 PM   #12
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Early 2011 Macbook pro here...
Never had a single reason to upgrade until now
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:45 PM   #13
SCOLANATOR
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Anyone else struggle to see the logic in using BT 4.0 over WiFi?
I don't even have BT turned on much, unless I'm in the car but WiFi is always on.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:46 PM   #14
gmanist1000
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Well shoot, my mid-2011 iMac is too old I guess
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:47 PM   #15
Davmeister
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Originally Posted by Ddyracer View Post
Does handoff really need BT 4.0? Or is Apple just being Apple as usual?
Yep. It does. Its more to do with physical proximity than anything else...technically, I'm sure, it could run over wifi...
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:48 PM   #16
markosb
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Bluetooth Dongle

Would using a bluetooth dongle like this http://bhpho.to/1pGsFsx work.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:49 PM   #17
MisakixMikasa
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Hopefully3rd party bluetooth dongle would enable support of Contunitiy, otherwise my beautiful Hackintosh won't have this feature
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:49 PM   #18
lowbatteries
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Looks like its finally time to bite the bullet and update the whole house 2007 iMac, 2010 MacBook, and 2009 MacBook. Looks like my 2nd gen Apple TV is even getting left out of all the nifty new features.

Here's hoping to a big end-of-year bonus and a big tax return ...
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:49 PM   #19
chekz0414
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I see they also banned AirDrop with my Mac? Even though MBP 2011 models were the first with AirDrop, and they support AirPlay...Why couldn't Continuity and Handoff work via AirPlay technology (since that doesn't require Wi-Fi anymore)...or even Wi-Fi like many have stated. I wasn't even thinking about upgrading my Mac, and now I definitely need to think about it.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:51 PM   #20
MisakixMikasa
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Would using a bluetooth dongle like this http://bhpho.to/1pGsFsx work.
lol...that is the dongle I am using with my Hackintosh setup. I hope Aplle enables the support for 3rd party Bluetooth dongle, but unto, someone can confirm, we will not know.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ddyracer View Post
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.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:52 PM   #22
CrazyNurse
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Well...that sucks
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:53 PM   #23
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Remember back in 2003 when Apple was pretty gung-ho on Bluetooth and we could do all sorts of cutting edge stuff with it like tether to the t68i or send/receive SMSes from Address Book?

And then they were like "oh wait we don't do all that stuff anymore, Wifi is now hot, by the way have you tried iCloud Sync instead of iSync and this obscenely complicated iMessage which leaks your private contact info all over the world"?

And now they're like "HA! Just kidding! Bluetooth does all kinds of things that we COULD be doing with wifi but we'll put in arbitrary requirements for specialized hardware just to force people who want this confusing software feature to buy new machines"

I forgot where I was going with this but I think the gist of it is: Apple has basically lost any sense of vision I'm interested in following anymore.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:54 PM   #24
smartalic34
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I just hope my early 2011 MBP can do Mac-iPhone AirDrop...
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 05:54 PM   #25
32KFJ
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i remember craigh saying that the iphone could be in another room to receive calls and messages. the range of bluetooth is not that far or is it?
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