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How to force Yosemite’s Continuity feature on your unsupported MacBook Pro

Published Oct 21st, 2014 6:30PM EDT
2011 MacBook Pro Yosemite
Image: Apple Inc.

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One of the coolest features of Yosemite, is Continuity / Handoff, which lets iOS and OS X device users continue a certain action even after switching devices — including placing phone calls and sending regular text messages on a Mac. Unfortunately, not all Macs and MacBook models can support it, as older models do not have Bluetooth 4.0 LE chips inside. Luckily, after some digging, a Mac user revealed on MacRumors’ forum that 2011 MacBook Pros can support Continuity / Handoff features after a little tinkering.

FROM EARLIER: Yosemite’s coolest new features won’t be available on all Macs

First of all, users have to be ready to actually take apart their 2011 MacBook Pro, and replace their current Airport/Bluetooth card with one that comes with Bluetooth 4.0 LE support (they’ll need a specific card: BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX, which is also found on the mid-2012 MacBook Pro).

Once the card is installed, users will also have to perform some code tricks to force the device into performing Continuity / Handoff features.

For what it’s worth, Apple’s official Yosemite features requirements say users need a MacBook Air, Pro, iMac or Mac Mini that’s from 2012 or newer, or a Mac Pro from late 2013 to take advantage of Continuity / Handoff. It’s not clear whether these features can also be enabled on other older Macs by manually performing similar hardware and software changes.

The full instructions on how to do the software part are available at the source link, but you should handle everything with extra care — you should probably check out the entire thread before going further.

As for the Mac teardown part, guides for taking apart the 2011 MacBook Pro can easily be found over at iFixit. As always, keep in mind that BGR doesn’t encourage unofficial upgrade procedures like these, because they may result in irreparable damage to your computer.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.