10 Tips for Fixing Bluetooth Pairing Problems
by Christina DesMarais for Techlicious
Bluetooth is a technological wonder when it works right. Use these 10 tips to troubleshoot your Bluetooth pairing problems.–PC Pitstop.
Bluetooth is a popular method of wirelessly transferring data between two devices such as your phone and your headphones, your media player and a speaker, or your iPad and a keyboard. It’s one of the most widely used wireless technology in the world, according to Suke Jawanda, chief marketing officer for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. He says about 2.5 billion Bluetooth products will ship this year alone, and that number will likely double within the next four years.
Bluetooth is all great when it works. But if you’re someone who likes to play around with these kinds of connected gadgets, you know it can be frustrating when there’s a hang-up pairing the two. Here are some common causes of pairing problems as well as advice on what you can do about them.
Why Bluetooth pairings fail
Bluetooth depends on both hardware and software to work properly. Manufacturers such as Apple and Microsoft are increasingly including radios that speak the Bluetooth 4.0 language in their new hardware. But if you have a device — say, a two-year-old phone — that lacks this newer kind of radio, you won’t be able to connect with devices that only support Bluetooth 4.0.
When I recently tested a slew of sport watches, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which has a Bluetooth 3.0 radio, couldn’t connect with the Mio Alpha, an innovative device that monitors your heart rate without the need for a chest strap. My husband’s iPhone 5 was able communicate with the Mio Alpha, however, because every iPhone since the iPhone 4S is Bluetooth Smart Ready.
The good news, Jawanda tells me, is that most phones that have shipped over the last 18 months have a dual radio that communicates with Bluetooth Smart Ready devices as well as those equipped for previous versions of Bluetooth. So if your current phone isn’t Bluetooth Smart Ready, your next one probably will be.
But even if my phone did have the right kind of radio for Bluetooth 4.0, my current operating system, Android 4.2.2, doesn’t support Bluetooth Smart. Android users won’t be able to use Bluetooth 4.0 until they get Android 4.3 (assuming they have the right hardware).
Devices also come with specific Bluetooth profiles. If Bluetooth is the common language connecting devices, you can think of a profile as a dialect associated with a certain use. For example, you probably aren’t going to be able to connect a mouse and a camera because a camera doesn’t support the Human Interface Device Profile. But if both a mobile phone and a wireless headset support the Hands-Free Profile, you should be able to pair them.
However, if the pairing failure is a matter of user error, there are steps you can take to get your devices happily communicating with each other.
This excerpt appears with the permission of Techlicious.