Will your Mac support Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE) for Handoff in OS X and iOS?

Will your Mac support Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE) for Handoff in OS X and iOS?

If you are an iPhone and Mac geek but you have been holding off on buying a new Mac we may have found your reason to upgrade. Handoff  is that new technology in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite where you can seamlessly switch between the two devices so you can pick up right where you left off. Handoff makes it so you can make calls using a Mac, open documents on any of your iOS devices, send and receive SMS (you know, the green text messages) and a bunch more.It ends up this feature requires Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy support on your Mac (as well as the same on your iOS powered iPhone or iPad).

[ABOVE: Image by Germany’s Apfeimer website]


Model Year Range Ability
MacBook Air mid-2011 & above YES
MacBook Pro mid-2012 & above YES
Retina MacBook Pro mid-2012 & above YES
iMac late 2012 & above YES
Mac mini mid-2011 & above YES
Mac Pro 2013 & above YES
The iPad 2  2011 NO

It ends up that bluetooth 4 made its way to Macs back in 2011 and I own an Macbook Pro 15″ Late 2011 model. Apparently I don’t have the right bluetooth / airport WiFi card in my computer to support it. If you want to see if yours is supported you can verify this by doing the following:

Click  in the top left of the menubar
Select “About this Mac”
Click “More Info”
Click “System Report”
Select Bluetooth under Hardware on the left sidebar
On the right pane locate “LMP Version”

If your Mac has Bluetooth 4, it should read “0×6″ if not then you don’t have a Bluetooth 4.0 LE compat card in you mac. People have tried to use external USB Bluetooth dongles but we haven’t found anyone successfully get one to work. As with anything people find ways to make things work.

Is this enough to have you buy a new mac? Is a feature like this the one that the Apple team is thinking will get you to upgrade? Me? I’m going to try a Bluetooth/Airport card I found on Amazon.

Author information

Jason Tucker

Web Developer at Tucker Pro

Jason Tucker is a web developer, systems administrator and a father of three. Jason owns Tucker.Pro a web development company and is host of WPwatercooler a weekly WordPress web development and design YouTube channel and podcast. Jason also blogs over at WPMedia.Pro where he talks about working with audio and video on the web.

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