Home Apple Best OS X Yosemite Features Skip Many Old Macs

Best OS X Yosemite Features Skip Many Old Macs

The OS X Yosemite update is available on many Apple notebooks and computers, even those as old as late 2007 — but these old Macs miss out on many of the best OS X Yosemite features like Handoff, Instant Hotspot and AirDrop from Mac to iPhone or iPad.

Apple announced the OS X Yosemite during a special event where the company led with a demonstration of these features on stage, but you need a fairly new Apple computer to use most of these.

We’ll look at what these features are, what Macs support them and other features and details that you should know about OS X Yosemite features on older Macs.

Read: 10 OS X Yosemite Release Date Tips

Apple routinely delivers an update to older devices that includes fewer features. We see it every year with the iPhone and iPad as well as the annual OS X upgrades. This year with more connectivity between the iPhone, iPad and Mac users with a 2011 or older Mac and those with an iPhone 4s miss out on some of the best OS X Yosemite features and iOS 8 features.

Handoff Compatible Macs

Not all OS X Yosemite features work on old Macs.
Not all OS X Yosemite features work on old Macs.

Handoff is a feature that lets users quickly jump from the iPhone to the iPad to a Mac to edit the same document without the hassles of emailing it or uploading it to Dropbox or another service. On the iPhone and iPad side you’ll need iOS 8 and a device with a lightning connector, leaving the iPhone 4s out of the loop.

On the Mac end you’ll need one of the following Macs;

  • MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
  • iMac (2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Instant Hotspot on Old Macs

You’ll also need one of these Macs listed above to use Instant Hotspot. Instant Hotspot shows the iPhone or iPad in your WiFi box with battery life and signal and allows you to join the network without grabbing your phone. You’ll also need the iOS 8.1 update that arrives Monday.

Read: How to Perform a Clean OS X Yosemite Installation

AirDrop from iOS to Mac Compatibility

In OS X Yosemite you can now AirDrop from iPhone or iPad to Mac. This lets you quickly share a file from your iPhone to the Mac without using email or an upload service. It is incredibly convenient for users who routinely need to move files between Mac and iPhone or iPad.

You need one of these Macs to use this feature.

  • MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
  • iMac (2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

You also need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with a lightning connection and iOS 7 or later for this to work, so there is no support for the iPhone 4s. You can still AirDrop from Mac to Mac on more computers going back to 2008-2010 for some models.

AIrDrop from OS X Yosemite to the iPhone or iPad only works on some Macs.
AIrDrop from OS X Yosemite to the iPhone or iPad only works on some Macs.

SMS & Phone Calls on Old Macs

The good news is that it looks like SMS and Phone calls on old Macs will work as long as you are on iOS 8 for phone calls and iOS 8.1 for SMS. There are not compatibility requirements listed by Apple to use these with your Mac running OS X Yosemite.

Other OS X Yosemite Feature Limitations

Apple also includes some other limitations to use OS X Yosemite features like AirPlay Mirroring and Power Nap. These are not new in OS X Yosemite, but they are included and only available on certain Macs.

AirPlay Mirroring allows users to put what is on their display on an Apple TV to use a HDTV or projector as a monitor without the need to connect cables. It works on the following Macs using OS X Yosemite;

  • MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Power Nap is another feature that only works on specific Macs on OS X Yosemite. This feature allows the computer to continue getting notifications and syncing while it is sleeping. This includes mail, contacts, notes, Photo Stream, Find My Mac all the time and to perform software updates, backup and more when plugged in and sleeping. This works on the following Macs;

  • MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

If you installed OS X Yosemite and you cannot get any of these features to work, it may be due to using an old Mac. If this is the case most users will need to wait for an upgrade before they can use these features.

OS X Yosemite Release & Feature Roundup

New OS X Yosemite Design

 1 / 11
New OS X Yosemite Design

The biggest change in OS X Yosemite is the new look and design. Similar to the visual upgrade the iPhone and iPad received last year this free OS X update brings a new, but familiar look to your Mac. 

Apple's new look for OS X Yosemite starts with redesigned buttons, windows and elements. You won't be lost when you open Yosemite, but you will notice a cleaner overall design. There are now translucent areas in some apps that show a blurred view of what's behind and the toolbars are now less cluttered and more useful.

Apple also changes the OS X Yosemite dock and system fonts to make OS X Yosemite look better on a Retina display. Notification Center and Spotlight are also new, which we cover in more detail below.  

The OS X Yosemite video above walks through the various changes to OS X Yosemite design. 

 

 1 / 11
Load More In Apple

7 Comments

  1. Greedy

    10/17/2014 at 10:14 am

    That’s apple for ya greedy a 2112 or newer that’s why I don’t buy apples products!! And they bash androids and pc computers

    Reply

    • jack

      10/18/2014 at 5:47 pm

      So, continual major upgrades (to ios and osx) provided to users for free… Yeah greedy is the first description that comes to mind!
      They could leave older products stagnant (Samsung phones) or charge big dollars for upgrades (Microsoft).

      Reply

    • nkm82

      10/22/2014 at 6:25 am

      90% of iOS devices are either on iOS 7 or iOS 8 and you can install Yosemite even in a 2007 computer.

      Both operating systems are free.

      “That’s Apple for ya”.

      Reply

  2. A B

    10/18/2014 at 7:01 am

    thats certainly greediness by Apple. I have a mid 2010 MBP, so it looks i can’t air drop between my iPhone 5S and Mac. 2012 and higher only, thats ridiculous, as much as I love apple products, but this company is leaving no stone unturned to turn that liking into hatred.

    Reply

    • nkm82

      10/22/2014 at 6:12 am

      Airdrop relies on Wifi Direct technology, which didn’t became generally available until 2011.

      Your MBP doesn’t have it. It’s as simple as that.

      Reply

  3. Logan Sharpe

    10/19/2014 at 2:38 am

    I am fuming! I love apple products but can’t believe the 2 things i wanted most was handoff and iOS to OS X airdrop and i can’t get neither with my macbook air mid 2011 which has bluetooth 4.0 which is what is used!

    Reply

    • nkm82

      10/22/2014 at 6:33 am

      Your MBA doesn’t have Bluetooh LE, which is required for those features to work.

      I have a 2011 mac myself and it supports even fewer of these features, but I bought this computer for the features that it have at that moment, not the ones that may have in the future.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *