Android to assimilate Bluetooth Smart technology

Google's next version of Android will fully integrate Bluetooth 4.0.

Bluetooth SIG

One of the many announcements flooding out of Google I/O that may have gotten lost in the shuffle is Android's expected support for Bluetooth Smart technology.

This may seem like an odd development, especially if you know that many Android devices already feature Bluetooth 4.0, the version in which Bluetooth Smart (that is, Bluetooth Low Energy) first appeared. What's new here, though, is that the fresh flavor of Android, expected to hit in the next few months, will natively integrate all of Bluetooth 4.0's fancy tricks, including BLE, or BT Smart. Previous Android iterations lacked this degree of Bluetooth collaboration.

Still not convinced this will affect your life in any concrete way? Well, I beg to differ. If you think any of the cutting-edge wireless accessories hitting the market such as the Fitbit Flex and Pebble smartwatch are pretty neat then Android beefing up its Bluetooth chops means even slicker hands-free products down the pike.

Essentially, BLE or Bluetooth Smart technology enables wireless hardware to link with phones using very little battery power. Understandably this paves the way for gadgets like watches, fitness trackers, and who knows what else to be worn on your person around the clock. I hope Android getting more Bluetooth Smarts also means accessory makers will find it easy to develop products for Android no matter who manufactures the hardware. Of course that may be asking for too much.

About the author

Brian Bennett is senior editor for mobile phones at CNET and reviews a wide range of mobile communication products. These include smartphones and their myriad accessories. He has more than 12 years of experience in technology journalism and has put practically anything fun with a micro chip through its paces at some point.


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