Apple Continuity: iOS 8 Handoff to Mac OS X not working

- Jun 3, 2014

It doesn’t look like the Apple Continuity is working like it should within the Mac OS X 10.10 preview and iOS 8 on iPad or iPhone. We’ve been with our developer today while they test out OS X Yosemite and the beta of iOS 8, although they had some real problems getting the Handoff feature to work.

Users having been crying out for an iOS 7 AirDrop to Mac ability for months, and Apple delivered during their keynote event and took the request much further as well.

Within the beta software you should be able to connect iPhone, iPad, and Mac like “never before” and Apple explained it would just happen without “any configuration needed”. This hasn’t been true in our tests, although it isn’t exactly clear why that is or if the new feature is even meant to fully work from iOS 8 beta 1 and Mac OS X 10.10 preview 1.


We watched for over 2 hours today, while our developer couldn’t manage to get the OS X Yosemite to see an iPad mini or iPhone 5 running iOS 8 beta 1. The devices should show up in the Wi-Fi menu or even as an iPhone creating a Personal Hotspot when no Wi-Fi network is available. After 2 hours of trying by playing around with many Mac settings and sharing options, it seems like nothing would make the devices show up or connect to each other.

This is what he had to say, “I’ve spent a few hours reading over all the support documents within the Apple Developer Portable for both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, although it looks like there’s some major problems with Handoff and Apple Continuity at this time. I cannot confirm if the issues are with just the iPad mini first generation and iPhone 5”.

Are you an Apple developer? If so, have you managed to get hands-on yet with OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 beta 1? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Apple Continuity and if you’ve had problems getting Handoff working or any of the other new features.

Apple’s desktop and mobile software should take advantage of both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to create the connection. It seems like there’s a number of problems with this new features in the first iOS 8 beta and OX X 10.10 preview.

The iOS 8 beta 1 and OS X 10.10 release notes do touch on issues with Handoff and some devices, so it might be that the developers iPad mini and iPhone 5 are among the devices not working in the current betas.

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Also See: Apple MacBook battery life duration under scrutiny

  • I am running Yosemite Beta 7 on Mac Mini (Late 2012) and iOS8 GM on iphone 5S and ipad mini (1st gen) I can handoff from phone to tablet to macmini or tablet to mac mini or phone to tablet and tablet to phone but cannot go from phone directly to mac mini….

  • vivalaivsca

    I have a MacBook Pro Retina 15″ late 2013 on Yosemite beta 4 and an iPhone 5s with iOS 8 beta 4. And none of the new features work at all.

  • Matias Gandolfo

    I have a mac mini mid 2011 and iphone 5s, and no works handoff… .I have to be a developer?

  • R-A.W.

    i have a feeling its more iOS 8 then 10.10 in terms of where the connection is going wrong. the cpu betas are so stable, just for the sheer value of the macbook vs an iPhone; developers would die if they’re precious cpus crashed the way iOS betas do; with that being said, i have been extremely pleased with iOS 8b1 its been stable in terms of app support; yeah settings and messages crash occasionally, the home button decides hey hit me twice and ill pop on, and hand off to the cpu isn’t working yet but thats why these exist lol, for us to have fun, give suggestions, and for them to fix. they usually release up to like 6 betas so don’t expect all your problems to be solved in 2…

  • Jorge Galrito

    I guess you have wasted your time. The release notes for this beta clearly states that some devices won’t pair correctly to use Continuity. Wait for the next beta, maybe it’ll be fixed.

  • Hanno

    I have got a MacBook and an iPhone 5s running on the new previews but either a new installation than a new icloud account got continuity to work -.- i’m really frustrated.

  • Given that handoff requires bluetooth to work(?). I’m wondering if it is compatible with all iMacs.

  • Isn’t there any official documentation from Apple on how to get Handoff working between an iphone and OS X?

  • BtBit

    AirDrop is working fine between OS X 10.10 and iOS 7!!!
    Does NOT WORK with iOS 8 yet.

  • sonicemerald

    I was able to get handoff to work. it only works with safari, and will only show up the first time a page is loaded, and briefly. Also, it is very buggy. if you don’t swipe up fast enough on the device, the lockscreen UI will freeze with only the background picture showing. Device safari to mac safari doesn’t show up though.

    Device Mail to Mac Mail works nicely though.

    • Cisco

      what about your Mac version? late 2012?

      • sonicemerald

        late 2013

  • Nikato Muirhead

    What part of the phrase Public Beta don’t people understand ?

  • Matthew crosby

    BREAKING NEWS!! THE FIRST BETA FOR TWO DIFFERENT OPERATING SYSTEMS ARE NOT WORKING PERFECTLY SHOCK!! …Really? Why do people seem surprised at this? What we’re you expecting?

    • Kris

      Noone is surprised. Everybody knows betas are buggy. We just wanna clarify if this is something that happens to others as well! Which it clearly does. Voila. No need to caps lock about it.

      • Diego Timido

        Seriously, dude needs an enema, or an exorcism or something. No one is saying they expected this thing to work flawlessly, but it helps to know the difference between the software not working and your device not working, which is why I assume we are all here, that is to figure out if anyone else is having the same issue or if its just us. Helps determine if it’s hardware or software. Somebody call a Priest and get him to Mathew Crosby ASAP.

    • vivalaivsca

      im on the fourth beta of both OSs on brand new hardware, and none of them work.

  • David

    The SMS seems to be working but very buggy, I have managed to write few SMS. The Calling is not working at all.

    If you have noticed, in the promo pic on the iPhone the contact pic shows in full screen. Does anyone know how to enable it? Cause currently mine is same as old crappy circle on the top conner.

    And also has anyone seen the dark theme on OSX 10.10? I can`t find it either.

  • Kris

    I’m having the same issue, but I found an option in system preferences that looks like should be turned on. I’ve done it, but it still doesn’t work.

    Go to System Preferences, hit General and then hit “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”
    Have you guys tried this?

    • Ben Kirton

      This option allowed me to get the application handoff working but still no calls and it is really spotty on the apps.

      • Adam Markon

        I checked this option, but I still can’t get any of the continuity features to work. Logged out and back into iCloud, restarted everything, no luck.

        • Andrew

          Same here. I don’t know how they expect developers to test these features… You would think they would be functional at least 20% of the time…

        • Adam Markon

          Not too happy with this beta. Lots of missing features. They acknowledge that “some devices may not be able to pair with a computer at all,” but still. It seems like at least half of the features they demoed don’t work.

  • Nate

    Same problem here using iPhone 5c. Spent a few hours troubleshooting to no avail.

  • Q

    I also spent a couple of hours last night trying to get this to work with a late 2011 MBP and an iPhone 5 but no luck. If I had to guess, I would pin this on iOS 8 as iOS betas are always really buggy until about August. I haven’t stressed Yosemite yet, but so far it seems pretty stable.

  • Louie

    Same here. ZERO handoff abilities with OS X 10 10 and iOS 8 (new macbook pro and iPhone 5 and iPad2)

  • Diego Timido

    The handoff issue among a plethora of other issues is what brought me to this article. Needless to say handoff doesn’t work. However, unfortunately neither does: video messaging, voice messaging or mark-up. Siri’s Shazaam adaptation has issues: couldn’t recognize some very recent, very popular songs. Re-downloading previous apps is a no-go, they start to download then just go away. Numbers, Keynote, ItunesU and Pages completely crashed after trying to update them and now just sit on the home screen with the developer thumbnail as it’s icon. Restoring my device from eariler backup was a no-go, had to set up my phone as a new device. I’m using an iPhone5s, 64 gb, and a macbook pro midsummer 2012. I’m assuming there will be massive updates coming over the summer, because as of right now, they are not even close to being ready to make good on their WWDC promises.

    • Jorge Galrito

      Did you report those bugs to Apple?

      • Diego Timido

        Of course. That’s the whole point of a Beta program isn’t it? I just posted here because the guy wrote about the exact same issue I was having at the time. I was searching the net to see if anybody else was having the same problem.

  • Guest

    I have both and am having the same trouble as you guys.

    • tBijou

      I have a macbook air and iphone 5s both on ios 8 and os yosemite . I just can’t get the hotspot to work. Anyone?

      • Niklas Nilsson

        I´m having a new mbp with Yosemite and an iPhone 5s with iOS8, the only thing that is working for me i Airdrop, but can´t gen anything else to function.