Apple’s services compatibility

ContinuityIn OS X Yosemite, and it’s iOS 8 counterpart, Apple releases Continuity. Philosophy of Continuity is to get in touch with all compatible Apple devices. Since incoming macOS Sierra and iOS 10, a new Continuity features are available. And here are some other features like Metal API and iOS 9 multitasking on iPads. But will your Macs and iDevices support all features? Our team is bringing you a big list of features and supported devices.

First, here is a list of services:

  • AirDrop
  • Handoff
  • SMS and Phone Calling
  • Instant Hotspot
  • Universal Clipboard
  • Auto Unlock
  • AirPlay
  • Power Nap
  • Metal
  • iPad multitasking

AirDrop – send your files between devices

This service can send files between your Macs and iOS devices. It uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at the same time. Of course, it only works in world of Apple – Macs and iOS devices. Macs can send and receive files via classic Bluetooth to/from other devices, but iOS devices must be jailbroken to experience full Bluetooth capability. We must mention that Apple allows sending files via classic Bluetooth on iOS devices, but it’s very limited – you have to purchase app from App Store with ability to send files via Bluetooth and the same app must have your peer. With Bluetooth on iOS devices, of course, you can connect wireless hardware like headphones.

Since OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 combo, you can send files between iOS devices and Macs. In earlier versions of these operating systems, transfers between Macs and iOS devices are not available, but you can still send files from iOS device to another iOS device and from Mac to another Mac.

AirDrop for iOS devices is available on all devices with Lightning connector and iOS 7 (or later):

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch 6th generation
  • iPod touch 5th generation

Here is list of compatible Macs running OS X Yosemite or later, which can send and receive files to/from iOS devices:

  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

And now, if you want to send files between two Macs running Mac OS X Lion or later, compatible Macs are:

  • MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or later)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2010 or later)
  • iMac (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010 or later)

Handoff – start working on one device and continue on another device

With this feature, you can start working, for example, on iPhone and continue on Mac. You can start writing e-mail on your iPhone and when you come back home, you can continue writing it on desktop Mac. This feature must be built-in in both iOS app and it’s Mac counterpart. From 3rd party software (not from Apple) Handoff works on Ulysses from The Soulmen and PDF Expert from Readdle and some others. If you want learn more about Handoff, read my article HERE.

Handoff for iOS devices is available on all devices with Lightning connector and iOS 8 (or later):

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch 6th generation
  • iPod touch 5th generation

And you will need compatible Mac running OS X Yosemite and later:

  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

SMS and Phone Calling – answer your calls on Mac (or iPad)

Are you at Mac and your iPhone is too far from your hands or even charging in another room? No problem! This continuity feature will allow to answer and even make calls from Mac (or iPad). And it works for SMS too (iPad is not supported for SMS).

When someone calls you, your Mac will ring with same ringtone you have for that person on your iPhone. Mac will inform you with classic notification from Notification Center showing you the caller’s name, his/her number and profile photo. Just click on notification and your Mac will become a speakerphone. You can work on your Mac and call at the same time.

Do you want to make a call while you are sitting at Mac and iPhone is too far? Again no problem. Just click on any phone number you see in apps Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Spotlight or Safari browser. Starting call from FaceTime call history is supported too. Or just type phone number.

iPad can make and answer calls too.

Sending and receiving SMS text messages works too. Conversation is synced between your Macs and iPhones, so you won’t miss anything. When your friend texts you, you can reply on Mac regardless of what cellphone he/she owns. And you can start conversation on your Mac by clicking a phone number in apps Contacts, Calendar, Spotlight or Safari browser.

As we mentioned, iPad can’t be used for SMS.

Your iPhone must be running iOS 8.1 or later and your Mac needs OS X Yosemite or later. Answering and making calls on iPad requires iOS 8 or later. Here is full list of compatible devices:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4S
  • MacBook Pro (13.3-inch Mid 2009 or later, 15.4-inch Mid/Late 2007 or later, 17-inch Late 2007 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook (Aluminium Late 2008 and Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • iMac (Mid 2007 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad 3rd generation
  • iPad 2
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini

Note: if your Mac doesn’t include a built-in microphone (typically Mac mini and Mac Pro), you need to connect an external microphone or headset to make phone calls using this feature.

Instant Hotspot – connect your Mac to Internet!

With Instant Hotspot service included within your iPhone and cellular iPads, you can connect your Mac to Internet network. You will need carrier data plan. Instant Hotspot also requires Personal Hotspot service through your carrier.

Instant Hotspot for iOS devices is available on all devices with Lightning connector and iOS 8.1 (or later):

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini

And you will need one of these Macs:

  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

Universal Clipboard – syncing your clipboard data across all your devices

Universal Clipboard is a new feature in macOS Sierra and iOS 10. You can copy to clipboard some data and then paste it on your another device. Clipboard is synced via iCloud.

You will need any iOS device with iOS 10:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch 6th generation

And any Mac running macOS Sierra:

  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook (Late 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or later)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2010 or later)
  • iMac (Late 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or later)

Auto Unlock – log-in to your Mac with Apple Watch

When you are near your Mac wearing Apple Watch, Mac will log you in automatically. Just wake up your Mac and you are ready to get your work done.

Requirements are simple: any Apple Watch with watchOS 3 and any Mac introduced in 2013 or later with installed macOS Sierra.

AirPlay – play your media on big screen

With Apple TV, you can play media from macOS/iOS or even mirror desktop to your big TV screen. Watch your movies, play games, browse Internet etc. right on your TV!

System requirements:

  • Apple TV 2nd generation
  • Apple TV 3rd generation
  • Apple TV 4th generation

Note: AirPlay needs Apple TV 4th generation or Apple TV 2nd/3rd generation with Apple TV Software 4.1 or later. Peer-to-peer AirPlay requires iOS 8 on compatible devices (see below).

Supported iOS devices are:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad 3rd generation
  • iPad
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch 4
  • iPod touch 5
  • iPod touch 6

Note: iPhone 4, iPad 1st generation and iPod touch 4 only support Airplay, no support for mirroring and peer-to-peer AirPlay.

Note 2: iPhone 4S and iPad 2nd/3rd generation support both AirPlay and mirroring, but no peer-to-peer AirPlay (even they can run iOS 8 required by peer-to-peer AirPlay, here is no support for these devices).

Note 3: all other devices support AirPlay, mirroring and peer-to-peer AirPlay.

And what about Macs?

AirPlay is only supported since OS X El Capitan and restricted to some videos from Safari browser and QuickTime 10 Player. AirPlay support for many other video formats can be reached by 3rd party apps like Beamer. Supported Mac are:

  • MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or later)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011 or later)
  • iMac (Mid 2011 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

Power Nap – let’s do it while your Mac is sleeping!

Power Nap is interesting feature which allows your Mac to do some things while it is sleeping, like receiving e-mail, Calendar and Contacts sync with your other devices linked by your iCloud account etc. More info HERE at Apple Support Page.

Mac laptops need OS X Mountain Lion v10.8 or later, desktop Macs need OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later. Some Macs need SMC update:

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010)

Note: MacBook Air (Late 2010) needs OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 and later

Natively supported Macs:

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15.4-inch, Early 2013 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13.3-inch, Late 2012 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2013 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac (27-inch, Late 2012 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

Metal – whole new experience with great performance

Apple created brand-new graphics technology called Metal. Metal is a low-level, low-overhead hardware-accelerated graphics and API. It’s functionality is similar to OpenCL and OpenGL under one API. Thanks to Metal, developers can reach much better performance. All iOS devices with 64-bit SoC (A7 or later) and some recent Macs support Metal natively.

Supported iOS devices are:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch 6

And supported Macs are:

  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or later)
  • Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Later 2013 or later)

Multitasking – enjoy new iPad-only features on iOS!

Multitasking was introduced in iOS 9. There are three types of multitasking:

  • Split View
  • Slide Over
  • Picture In Picture

I have written about multitasking feature HERE. In short – Split View will create TWO ACTIVE apps on single screen, Slide Over creates a column in 1/3 screen on right side of display, where only APP IN COLUMN IS ACTIVE, slide-overed app is INACTIVE and can’t be used until app in column is slided back. And Picture In Picture show you playing video in whole iOS.

Supported iPads:

Slide Over and Picture In Picture:

  • iPad Pro (both sizes)
  • iPad Air and higher
  • iPad mini 2 and higher

Split View:

  • iPad Pro (both sizes)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini 4

As you can see, only iPads with 64-bit SoC (A7 and later) are supported and Split View is even more limited.

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