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uses for bluetoothBluetooth 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 Android phone via Bluetooth.

Here are some of the top uses for this great technology.

Hands-Free

uses for bluetooth

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.

Music

bluetooth on android

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.

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Keyboards and Mice

bluetooth on android

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.

File Transfers

bluetooth on android

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.

Internet Tethering

bluetooth on android

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

uses for bluetooth

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).

Conclusion

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!

Image Credits: JVCAmerica, youthkee, Philip Brown

  1. Jon
    June 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I have two blue tooth headsets that I want to connect to my phone, or to each other if possible, so my wife and I can communicate easily while riding on my motorcycle. Is there an app or some way to do this?

  2. Charles W Branly
    April 28, 2016 at 7:38 am

    IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR A 61 YEAR OLD WHO IS EAGER TO LEARN, BUT DOESN.T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT??? BUT I DO WANT OR REALLY NEED HANDS ON TOO LEARN THESE TRADE SECRETS, THAT MY 5 YR. OLD GRANDSON ALREADY KNOWS!!! HE TOLD ME , COME ON POPS, GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!

  3. Teun
    February 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I have a problem with blue tooth. I hope you can help me. I use a Samsung S5 mini, Android 4.4.2 and a Garmin navigator Nuvi 2595. I use the Garmin also for hands free calling in my car.
    Problem is that when i leave the car there is no more connection between the both. I have installed a app called AutoConnect but this doesnot work good all the times.
    Is there another solution ?
    Thank you!

    Teun

  4. GrumpyHand
    February 3, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Nice site great info Thanks

  5. Suleiman Orotta
    March 5, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Those of you who like Tethering using blue tooth, please set a password before doing so. You phone will act as wifi hot spot and all can use ur data if it is not password protected.

    • Danny Stieben
      March 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Setting a password can help encrypt the communications, but other devices won't be able to connect to the tethered connection without pairing with the phone first. You should be able to decline unwanted requests if they do ever appear.

  6. Wookey Yoo
    March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    bluetooth keyboards are quite nice

  7. Gary Mundy
    March 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I've got my cell linked to my house phone as well and that is so convenient.
    Gary

    • Guy McDowell
      March 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      How do you have your cell linked to your house phone? Sounds interesting. Better than having a handset and a cellphone on you.

    • Gary Mundy
      March 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      I have a Vtech brand cordless phone that came with a Bluetooth headset. The base unit connects to my cell and then I get all calls through the headset. I'm a stay at home dad so being able to talk and do housework makes me a better mom. LOL
      Gary

    • Breeanna
      December 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      hi

  8. Deborah Herrick
    March 4, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I wish I had time to read all your articles from beginning to end, plus all the sideline posts. They are so interesting and useful!

  9. Deborah Herrick
    March 4, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I wish I had time to read all your articles from beginning to end, plus all the sideline posts. They are so interesting and useful!

  10. Yudono R.A.
    March 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    i never know we can do that (tethering), thanks for the tips.

    ps: i only know using bluetooth for file transfer and handset

  11. Tar?k Özcan
    March 3, 2013 at 11:16 am

    tethering over bluetooth comsumes less power then wifi.
    but main usage ? expect from a bluetooth enabled phone is to be a presenter and/or a keyboard-mouse hid device for pc. this way, when you forgot your wireless presenter at home or caught helpless without a battery, you can use your phone without installing any external device driver, just drivers within your os would do,,,and you can take control of your slideshow easily via your phone...but unfortunateley there aren't much applications in the market or preinstalled in any devices...

    • Danny Stieben
      March 31, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Also true! I know LibreOffice users can find a remote app for slideshows on Android.

  12. Hugo
    March 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I've been using bluetooth for an PS3 controller for my android emulators ;)

    • prasanna
      March 5, 2013 at 4:15 am

      I tried to get some emulators for my HTC ONE X . i was not success. Do you know any step by step procedure to get emulators work? And by the way , did you have to root it for that?

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;)

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;)

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;)

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;)

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;)

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;)

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Hugo
      March 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      For the PS3 controller pair, yes, root is needed. But for the emulators, it's not needed, they run like a normal game, you can find several in the market for the most known consoles. But didn't expect to emule ps2 or above. It's a good idea to google "tiger emulators" ;). The instructions are basically the same for PC emulators, roms needed.

      I currently can emule the following.

      - Nes
      - Snes
      - N64
      - PS1
      - Mame (Some games)
      - Neo-geo

      But take advice to emule a game without owning the game is illegal. Just saying.

    • Danny Stieben
      March 31, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      That's another great use! Thanks for sharing, I didn't even think about that one.

  13. Garris Rago
    March 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Tethering can be extremely useful to get internet on the go.

    Strange, I've been completely aware of bluetooth earphones but for some reason never used them. Had a dig around my house and alas I found some! Got them working, great! - Good article (Y)

    • Danny Stieben
      March 31, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      I'm glad you liked it! I wish I had bluetooth headphones just lying around...

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