OS X Yosemite: Apple’s Bluetooth Handoff trade-off

“Handoff/Continuity connectivity on Macs means iOS and OS X devices will recognize each other when they are near to each other. This will enable them to work together to make calls using a Mac, open documents on every device, send and receive SMS messages and more,” Jonny Evans reports for Computerworld. “Since these improvements were announced at WWDC it has become clear these features may not work on every Mac that supports the new Yosemite OS, as so much of this integration seems to depend on standards baked inside Bluetooth 4.0 LE, which not every Yosemite compatible Mac has installed.”

Evans reports, “Apple hasn’t yet confirmed these claims and it is unlikely it will at this stage of development, but a German Apple website claims those Macs that will support Handoff/Continuity include: MacBook Air (mid-2011 and above); MacBook Pro (mid-2012 and above); Retina MacBook Pro (mid-2012 and above); iMac (late 2012 and above); Mac mini (mid-2011 and above); Mac Pro (2013 and above). It is likely the need for Bluetooth 4.0 is why iOS 8 only runs on iPhone 4S models or later, as Apple first put a compatible Bluetooth 4.0 module in its mobile devices (with the exception of iPad 2) in that model. It is possible Continuity may also be supported on the most recent third edition Apple TV.”

“Apple is still developing OS X Yosemite so final features are not declared. It is logical that the company could work with a partner to bring a supporting dongle to those Yosemite Macs that need it — this is how it managed the transition when it moved to introduce Bluetooth in Macs the first time around, when it recommended the D-Link DWB-120M Bluetooth USB adapter,” Evans reports. “What Apple is doing is moving its platforms across to a new technology, and, in common with each major transition in standards, some relatively recent products just won’t already have the tech inside. However, given the attention Apple lavished on Continuity/Handoff, the company will have to figure out a way to make this transition painless for millions of Mac users not yet able to invest in new kit.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Why can’t they “recognize” each other when they are on the same Wi-Fi network? That would be dumb…if it doesn’t work that way. Now if they are on different networks, then I can see the solution that BT provides…except mine is always turned off.

    1. Have the wifi option, or “handoff through iCloud” as an option.

      The only device I have that does not have Bluetooth 4 is my 2010 13″ MBP so it’s not a huge concern for me… I don’t see me buying a new MBP/air anytime soon either, it still runs great and I just put in a hybrid drive that sped it up a tad.

      I like the idea of handoff, but it’s not a selling point for me. And I won’t go buy a Bluetooth dongle just for the MBP either..

    1. Hang on my iMac is little over a year old so will likely be fine but but not by much it seems so its a little harsh to simply claim its upgrade time for many I think. The whole point of a Mac is that you get a long life from it and 2 macs in 5 years for my present set up I am expecting to last me some years yet. Now thats not particularly a complaint against Apple just the throw away line about ‘oh well just upgrade’ but one does expect to be future proof for at least 3 years with a Mac (and hopefully longer) so late 2012 is eye brow raising to say the least to me.

  2. This would suck if this is still the case in the final product. I have a late 2011 Macbook pro and so continuity/handoff so far is out of the question with me.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.