Xbox Live Gold price increase Nvidia Shield update Third stimulus check details Microsoft AI chatbot patent Bernie Sanders' mittens memes Returning stimulus money to the IRS Galaxy S21 review

Bluetooth info at a glance? Not so fast

Bluetooth info at a glance? Not so fast

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today released a series of symbols that let consumers know at a glance which functions a device is able to perform using Bluetooth's short-range wireless profiles. Dubbed the Bluetooth Experience Icon Program, the five white-on-blue symbols inform potential buyers of Bluetooth-enabled products, whether a device supports any of five major wireless functions, including Print; Input (for devices that allow wireless data upload); Headset (for hands-free calling); Transfer (for Bluetooth devices that can send and receive data); and Music (for devices that have the ability to wirelessly stream audio, also known as A2DP, or Stereo Bluetooth).

However, for those looking to buy a phone to make hands-free in-car calls, the process is more complicated than finding a phone with a headset symbol. Due to variations in Bluetooth chip programming, some phones work with certain cars and not with others, while each Bluetooth-enabled car model supports only a limited number of phones.

Fortunately, help is at hand: CNET's Car Tech channel is working on a comprehensive Bluetooth compatibility wizard to enable drivers to see which phones work with which cars and vice versa. Stay tuned.