'Continuity Activation Tool' Enables Handoff on Older Macs

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple introduced "Continuity," a set of features designed to allow for deeper integration between Macs and iOS devices. Unfortunately, some Continuity features are limited to Macs with Bluetooth 4.0, which leaves many older Macs unable to access the new features.

    Additionally, even though the 2011 MacBook Air and 2011 Mac mini include Bluetooth 4.0, Apple has opted not to allow them to access Continuity features. Luckily, many resourceful members of the MacRumors forums have come up with solutions to allow them to enable Continuity on their older Macs, and discussion on our forums has led to the creation of a set of instructions and a Continuity Activation Tool that should get Continuity working on Macs unable to explicitly support the feature.

    Created by Dokterdok (based on instructions compiled by UncleSchnitty) and available on Github, the Continuity Activation Tool is designed to activate Continuity by doing a compatibility check, creating backups of original System drivers, and disabling a Mac-model blacklist in the Bluetooth code that prevents Continuity from working on ineligible Macs. From there, it also whitelists Mac board-ids within the Wi-Fi code to get the feature working.

    The tool can be downloaded as a zip file from Github and is installed by double clicking the app and following the instructions provided on the screen.

    The Continuity Activation Tool will enable Continuity on the mid-2011 MacBook Air and the mid-2011 Mac mini with no additional hardware required, as both of those devices include Bluetooth 4.0. That means installing the tool should get Continuity up and running on those machines in just a few minutes.

    On older Macs that do not come equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, new wireless cards will need to be installed, which makes it more difficult for casual users to get access to Continuity. USB dongles that provide Bluetooth 4.0 will not work with the Continuity Activation Tool, and a list of wireless cards that will provide Bluetooth 4.0 for each older Mac can be found on the MacRumors forums.

    Both MacRumors forum members and Redditors have confirmed that this method is able to successfully enable Continuity on a variety of Macs, including the mid-2011 MacBook Air, the early 2011 MacBook Pro, and the mid-2011 Mac mini.

    The Continuity Activation Tool appears to enable all Continuity features when used successfully, allowing older Macs to access Handoff, Instant Hotspot, SMS forwarding, and Mac phone calls without an issue. Some of these Continuity features may work already on older Macs as they use a variety of different connection methods ranging from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi, but the tool is confirmed to get Handoff and AirDrop, both of which require Bluetooth, to work.

    Users should exercise caution when using the Continuity Activation Tool, as it moves around low level files and there's a possibility it could cause problems. A backup is recommended before attempting to install the tool.

    Article Link: 'Continuity Activation Tool' Enables Handoff on Older Macs
  2. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Can't believe they crippled capable older devices on purpose. Also not allowing them to function with Bluetooth 4.0 adapters... But yeah I have Bluetooth shut off all the time, yet I still get annoying phone calls on my Mac because it works through Wi-Fi instead.

    Glad this hack was released for other users.
  3. aquadevil2002 macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2012
    Best News ever!

    I have a 2011 macbook air and I was so disappointed by the fact that I couldn't use the feature I was most excited about. Cannot wait to go home and set my baby up.
  4. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I was going to make a YouTube video about how to do this, because I figured out that messing around with the airport kext got it to work on my MacBook air 2011.

    Glad I don't have to now. :)
  5. tomnavratil, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    tomnavratil macrumors 6502a


    Oct 2, 2013
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    If Apple enabled handoff on iPhone 4s that would be great..
  6. xero9 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2006
    Apple would probably spin it in such a way that because the computer doesn't have 802.11ac it wouldn't get the best experience, when in reality the iPhone 5 and 5s don't have wireless ac either, yet they'll work with a newer Mac.
  7. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Bummer this doesn't work with USB adaptors, it would have been a much cheaper way to get it running on Hackintoshes.
  8. Solver macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2004
    Cupertino, CA
    Now, if they can get an Airdrop/Handoff update for my wife's iPad 3, that would be something else.
  9. hybrid_x macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2004
    Teh Interwebz
    Seriously? I had no idea the Continuity support was so limited. I thought they would have facilitated it through ad-hoc WiFi connections or something. Very disappointing, as i'm not getting a new Mac any time soon. Yet another reason to put off my iPhone 6 upgrade a while longer. It seems that my Macs can take advantage of ever fewer features in the new hardware and iOS.
  10. Count Blah, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Apple can not close this down soon enough. Allowing this goes against their new business model - anti-green planned obsolescence. All wrapped in "Going Green" NON recycled wrapping paper.
  11. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    This is great news indeed. As soon as I can get a card for my late 2011 MBP, I am going to try out the special tool and then make a donation. :cool:
  12. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    This is such a horrible chart! 'No' actually means 'Yes - this device works'

    (The macbook airs and mac minis mid-2011 WORK with continuity)
  13. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Been seeing some traffic on this. Looking forward to trying on my mid 2011 Mac Mini. My only concern is that later patches may break this, much like some of the tricks for TRIM support, and other Grey hardware.

    Will have to watch The threads here, and in the OSX86 communities.
    The no, indicates no hardware changes are required, the header defined that in the chart.
  14. TsMkLg068426 macrumors 65816

    Mar 31, 2009
    Nothing new when it comes to Apple your iMac becomes almost useless after 3 years no wonder they do not extend your Apple Care more than 3 years.
  15. A7ibaba macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2012
  16. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    You sure there isn't a reason they did it?
  17. pedromcm.pm macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2014
    Porto, Portugal

    What is the actual "limitation"? What is Apple's justification for not allowing this out of the box on those models? I have a 2011 MBAir.

    Is this a dick move like not putting 2 GB of RAM on new iPhones, 16 GB of storage, etc.?
  18. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    I don't know whether or not I'll go to the trouble to add a new BT/WiFi radio to my Early 2009 mini, but mad props to UncleSchnitty for working this out and posting it to the MR community! :cool:
  19. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    :-/ Even with hardware updates it seems my iMac is a single generation too old.

    Oh well, I'll probably replace it next year (sometime after it officially becomes obsolete on April 28th, 2015).
  20. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    BTLE (aka: 4.0). That's pretty obvious if you've even remotely been paying attention.

    Take it however you want, but your 2011 MBA does everything today that it did on the day you bought it. My Early 2009 Mac mini isn't any less functional five years later, even if it doesn't get all of the new Yosemite features.
  21. NYRob94 macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2009
    Long Island
    Late 2009 iMac?

    Does this work on a 27inch iMac, Late 2009. 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo?
  22. MisakixMikasa macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2013
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    iPhone can easily work well with 1GB of RAM. My iPhone 5C, 5S and 6 works well with 1GB. No Safari refreshing. But on iPad Air is totally different story. 2 tabs will blow Safari on iPad. Totally unacceptable. iOS 8 is literally like ***** on iPad.
  23. elmateo487 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2008
    Seriously? You are sad that nearly 4 year old computers don't support a new feature?

    I am personally glad that they wrote this code for bluetooth low energy.
  24. rednaxela1111 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    I can't seem to find any suggested hardware to buy in the linked article to enable continuity features on iMacs. I have a late 2009 iMac 21.5" and would love to enable continuity features on it but don't know what model of bluetooth/wireless card to purchase :( I realise it's a 5 year old machine but it still works as well as it always has, anyone have any suggestions?!?!?! :confused:
  25. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    I'm sad there doesn't seem to be a good reason it's not supported. Or would be, if I had a 2011 Mac. I have a 2010 one, and at this point it doesn't seem like it'd be worth the cost to upgrade the bluetooth if I'm going to upgrade in a year or two anyway.

    Tab refreshing is bad on the Plus, too.

    You have to find a wifi card on eBay...but it's not trivial to open up an iMac.

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