Enable Continuity & Handoff on Unsupported Macs with Continuity Activation Tool
Continuity and Handoff are two great features of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 that allow an iPhone or iPad to ‘handoff’ an application, like a half-written email, over to the Mac to be completed in the Mac Mail app. It’s one of the major reasons for iOS and Mac users to upgrade to OS X Yosemite and it greatly improves productivity, but not all Macs support the feature. The Continuity Activation Tool changes that, it’s a third party utility that brings Handoff and Continuity support to some Macs that aren’t supposed to have the feature.
There are a few Macs that can use this utility right out to the box to enable the Handoff feature, whereas some other Macs would require a hardware change to a newer Bluetooth card, making it somewhat impractical unless that was on your upgrade agenda anyway. The two Macs that will get the most use out of this immediately since they don’t require a hardware change are the 2011 MacBook Air line, and the 2011 Mac Mini line, and you’ll obviously need an iOS 8 device as well. The full Mac compatibility list is below.
The utility requires you to right-click and choose “Open” to get around the developer warning, then runs in the Terminal. Hit 1 to begin the activation process and follow the onscreen instructions.
For what it’s worth, I had to run the tool twice to get the Handoff feature to actually show up in the System Preferences and then start working on a 2011 MacBook Air, but your experience may be different. This is completely unsupported by Apple, so you may want to back up your Mac before trying it out.
With the feature now possible to enable, you’ll have to follow a few additional onscreen steps to get it all working, including enabling the feature in System Preferences on the Mac, being sure it’s on in iOS, then logging out and back into iCloud on the Mac again. You can test the feature by having someone call your iPhone, it will now ring on your Mac if it wasn’t before, and if you didn’t turn off the Mac ringing feature already (you probably soon will if you get a lot of calls). You can also open Safari or Mail app on the iPhone or iPad to trigger the current session handoff to the Mac with OS X yosemite.
Since you can enable Handoff on some Macs with the help of a simple tool, it makes you wonder why Apple didn’t support those Macs to begin with, but there very well could be a reason that isn’t immediately obvious. Typically, a Mac must have Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility to have the feature accessible. The following is a list of Macs that will work with the tool, though as noted earlier some may require a different hardware adapter:
This is a great find from MacRumors, the tool was created by some of their enterprising forum members and works as advertised.