Bluetooth has been an impressive wireless technology to enable all sorts of cool functionality with multiple gadgets. While it was rather limited during the early stages of its life, Bluetooth has evolved to be capable of plenty of different data communications. Especially now that the latest revisions of the Bluetooth specifications include some great energy efficiency, now is better than ever to connect devices to your phone via Bluetooth.
Here are some of the top uses for this great technology.
Without Bluetooth, it’d be a lot harder to imagine a world of hands-free talking. Bluetooth headsets and Bluetooth-enabled car stereos allow you to keep your phone in your pocket while you talk. Although the idea of having a system with a microphone and speaker – such as a headset or car stereo – is rather simple, the wireless nature makes it seamless and ideal.
But why stop at just headsets and other hands-free calling features? There are also Bluetooth headphones available which allow crystal-clear transmission of audio, as well as car stereos which can play music off of your phone. Many car stereos also have buttons on either the device itself or on your car steering wheel which allow you to move between songs, giving you some control alongside the wireless audio.
Keyboards and Mice
Audio and hands-free communication is a great use of Bluetooth, but there’s much more you can do. If you need to be productive on your phone (or even an Android tablet), it may be helpful to pair up a keyboard to your device. I’ve always typed a lot faster on a physical keyboard, and I haven’t met many people who preferred touchscreens for fast typing. Some devices even allow you to pair a mouse in order to use it much like a full-fledged desktop.
Do you want to quickly and securely transfer a file from one device to another? If both of them are Bluetooth-enabled, you can do this! For example, you can easily send a file from your Bluetooth-capable computer to your Android phone by using the computer’s interface to initiate the file transfer. On your Android phone, you’ll need to install an app called Bluetooth File Transfer which can take care of the rest.
This is a great alternative if you don’t use (or don’t wish to use) cloud synchronization software such as Dropbox to send files to your phone.
Android phones running the most recent versions of Android are capable of Internet tethering via Bluetooth. There isn’t really any extra steps – just turn on Bluetooth, connect with your desired device, and choose the Bluetooth tethering option to enable it. You can find it in the Tethering & portable hotspot menu, alongside the USB and Hotspot tethering options.
How To Pair Devices
If you’re not very experienced with using Bluetooth, it’s easy to pair devices in order to make use of all these cool features! First, make sure that the Bluetooth functionality is enabled and active on both devices. Next, make sure that at least one of the devices is set to be visible – by default, all Bluetooth devices are not visible to prevent strangers from finding it and trying to pair with you. Now, go to your other device and find the visible device in your Bluetooth devices list. Tap on the device to connect.
Depending on the device, you may need to enter in a PIN (such as 0000) on either one or both devices, or check that the randomly generated PIN that appears on both devices when a pairing request is made is the same. Once your devices are paired, they should automatically start doing their job whenever the desired function is active (such as car stereos taking calls or playing music), or whenever you set it up (such as file transfers or Internet tethering).
Of course, there are a number of other great uses for Bluetooth, but the above listed are definitely the most common ones. If you think a device of yours may be capable of any of these uses, give it a try! If not, you may need to set something up first or eventually upgrade the device. I recently bought a Nexus 4, so I had no idea that Internet tethering over Bluetooth was even possible until it showed up in the list of available tethering methods.
What other functionality do you think may be added to the Bluetooth specification in the future? Do you think Bluetooth is here to stay, or may something else replace it? Let us know in the comments!