Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

Want To Use Apple’s New Continuity Features? Make Sure Your Mac Is Compatible

Even though you upgraded all your Apple devices, and followed all the connectivity instructions, your hardware may be preventing you from experiencing all the ‘Continuity’ features found in Apple’s latest Mac OS X Yosemite release.

When Mac OSX Yosemite was announced, the coolest feature highlighted was Apple’s ‘Continuity’ – All your Apple devices are belong to us! working closer together so you can seamlessly accomplish many of your most common tasks, no matter what device you use. Tasks like answer calls, respond to texts, responding to emails, browsing the web – All of your devices know what you’re doing and where you are in the process, and work together in harmony.

Come to find out, following all the instructions to get full experience of Continuity wasn’t enough to get the job done in my case.

Of course I was geeked about using all my Apple devices in unison, so I made sure to cross off all the checks on the list to get everything working correctly:

  • Download and install Mac OS X Yosemite on my MacBook Pro
  • Download and install iOS 8.1 on my iPhone and iPad
  • Made sure all my devices were signed in to the same iCloud account
  • Made sure all my devices were on the same network
  • Do the Shmoney Dance five times in the dark in front of a mirror

As a result, I can could answer calls and send text messages on my Mac, but I was still missing the ability to “Handoff” certain tasks between devices. For instance, If I start an email on my iPhone, but want to continue that same email on my Mac because…long-winded, I can do so using Handoff without first saving the email as a draft.

I did some research and found out Macs that have Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BT LE) are Handoff-compatible. Just in case you’re wondering if your Mac have BT LE:

  1. Click the Apple symbol in the menu bar at the top of your Mac
  2. Click “About this Mac”
  3. Click “More Info”
  4. Click “System Report”
  5. Click “Bluetooth”

…Under “LMP Version”, if it reads “0x6” you are good to go. If it reads anything below that…

Beyonce sucks to be you gif

In this case, sucks to be me because my [in PERFECT condition, upgraded RAM and SSD swapped] MacBook Pro doesn’t have BT LE. Since I’m a Mac repair guy #Plug, I figured “Hey, why don’t I just upgrade the WiFi-Bluetooth card?”

So I dug into my Mac’s specs and scoured the web to find out what parts and process I needed to make this happen. I stumbled onto a MacRumors forum post that identified:

  • What Bluetooth-WiFi card I needed
  • Where to buy it
  • How simple it would be to replace my current Bluetooth-WiFi card

According the information I read, the card was around $20 bucks, the install would be about 20 minutes, and I just needed to change some .kext files using the Mac Terminal…That last part is not as scary as it sounds.

This method will work on early 2011 MacBooks. One big problem: I don’t have an early 2011 MacBook. My pristine baby was assembled mid-2010. The difference is that Bluetooth isn’t integrated into the Wi-Fi card in my MacBook like it is on the 2011 jawns.

Avatar Boo

I know what you’re thinking: “BrothaTech, why don’t you just buy one of those Bluetooth 4.0 dongles that you can plug into a USB slot and communicate with BT LE devices?”

Did the research on that first…Yeah, no. Those work with everything BUT Apple’s Handoff feature.

I guess all my research wasn’t in vain – I may have to sell my beautiful MacBook (Holla at me if ya interested) and buy a “New Hotness” but…

—-> Now you know how to upgrade your early 2011 MacBook to BT LE to utilize Continuity <---- Are you thinking about doing this upgrade?

Image courtesy of iFixit

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