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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.

continuity.png
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.

continuitytoolcompatibility-800x520.jpg
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
 

Dilster3k

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2014
790
3,206
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.
 

aquadevil2002

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2012
31
5
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.
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
6,785
1,761
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. :)
 

xero9

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2006
863
486
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.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,553
Bummer this doesn't work with USB adaptors, it would have been a much cheaper way to get it running on Hackintoshes.
 

Solver

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
1,186
3,140
USA
Now, if they can get an Airdrop/Handoff update for my wife's iPad 3, that would be something else.
 

hybrid_x

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2004
415
624
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.
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,178
2,732
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.
 
Last edited:

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,497
2,887
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)
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
9,092
5,609
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.
This is such a horrible chart! 'No' actually means 'Yes - this device works'

(The macbook airs and mac minis mid-2011 WORK with continuity)

The no, indicates no hardware changes are required, the header defined that in the chart.
 

TsMkLg068426

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2009
1,484
325
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.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,050
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.

You sure there isn't a reason they did it?
 

pedromcm.pm

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2014
483
0
Porto, Portugal
However...

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.?
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,437
5,827
:-/ 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).
 

John.B

macrumors 601
Jan 15, 2008
4,173
680
Holocene Epoch
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.

BTLE (aka: 4.0). That's pretty obvious if you've even remotely been paying attention.

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

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.
 

MisakixMikasa

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2013
776
2
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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.?

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.
 

elmateo487

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2008
856
490
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.

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.
 

rednaxela1111

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2012
3
0
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.

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:
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,553
Seriously? You are sad that nearly 4 year old computers don't support a new feature?

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.

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.

Tab refreshing is bad on the Plus, too.

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:

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