Determine whether or not your Mac will support Handoff in Yosemite

BluetoothIconXApple’s upcoming OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” will come with a new feature called Handoff, which in conjunction with other Macs and iDevices running iOS 8, will allow you to seamlessly create content on one and then continue your work on another.

This feature will use Bluetooth to synchronize your workflows between computers; however, it will require the use of Bluetooth controllers that support LE (low energy) mode, a mode that allows for sustained connections between devices even though the controller is not fully active. This should include all of the latest models of Macs released in the past few years; however, if you are uncertain whether your Mac supports this mode, there is an easy way to find out.

Bluetooth hardware in System Information

You should be able to see your chipset’s make and model information in the Bluetooth section of the System Information utility (click image for larger view).

One useful utility in OS X for getting an overview of your Mac is Apple’s System Information program, which shows your full hardware and software configuration in a number of separate categories. If you open this program and expand the Hardware section, you can click the Bluetooth category to get information on your system’s Bluetooth capabilities.

In here, you will see Hardware Settings for you bluetooth controller, including the chipset make and model listed. With this information, you should now be able to look up information on this chipset using Web searches, to see whether or not it supports Bluetooth LE capabilities.

For example, my MacBook Pro uses a Broadcom chipset model 20702B0, which in a Web search for “Broadcom 20702B0” reveals this product page which describes this chipset as “architecture that has been designed to take advantage of the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) standard.”

This approach may take a little digging, but provided you have the make and model of the Bluetooth chipset for your Mac, you should be able to uproot this information and determine if LE mode is supported.

7 thoughts on “Determine whether or not your Mac will support Handoff in Yosemite

  1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    Am I glad I have a new 27″ iMac that has that Bluetooth chipset – the same chipset that’s in your MacBook Pro. Though my first search came up with the wrong chipset, for the 2070 Bluetooth 3. It turns out the problem was with my search engine of choice – Bing. When I switched to Google I got the correct link right at the top. Maybe I’ll have to switch back to Google search.

  2. Joe C

    Do we know whether or not a Bluetooth adapter plugged into the USB slot will work for those older Macs that can’t handle it natively?

  3. Ken H

    Thanks for answering my question about BTLE in this the article, it explains it very well.

  4. High End

    Mac just making people buy another expensive computer so that they will have the latest and greatest. I’ll wait until the bugs are worked out of the OS before deciding which route to take. Would prefer a iPad Mini with a phone on it, then I would not have to buy another computer and keep using my 2010 MacBook Pro.

  5. Joe C

    Come on now, that’s just being silly. No one is being forced to buy anything and it makes no sense to ignore all the other functionality gained in Yosemite to just complain about this particular feature. In fact, this OS upgrade, like Mavericks, supports even 7-year-old iMacs.

    That’s Apple: they like to push modern features while others cling to Windows 95 and Android OSes from 3 versions ago.

  6. andrew watts

    A nice post for informing the pre-requisites for using Handoff feature in OS X 10.10. But let me add a little more for user knowledge. After installing Yosemite, I made few settings in Mac:
    In Video menu bar, checked the option ‘FaceTime’ HD Camera. Clicked on FaceTime application in ‘Preferences’ pane and Check ‘iPhone Cellular Calls’ button.

    And in my iPhone6 plus, I made these changes.

    Went to ‘Settings’ icon and tap on FaceTime app. Turn on this option ‘iPhone Cellular Calls’

    Please keep in mind that both devices should use the same WiFi connection

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