When I just wouldn’t shut up about Bluetooth

Read this blog, or even search it, and you’ll find evidence of my 15-year hate affair with Bluetooth. You’ll find that I was an early adopter, choosing a Bluetooth-equipped phone that I had to order special because my local cell dealer didn’t even know what Bluetooth was. I’ve used Bluetooth on my computer, on my phone, and in my car. And more often than not, it’s disappointed me.

Back in October 2015…

…back then I was exploring Bluetooth mice and keyboards for my PC. This was still a fairly new technology and again, I was disappointed. The computer I used back then couldn’t be upgraded to the latest standard. It toiled away with Bluetooth 2.1, which we all think of as one of the most limiting versions of Bluetooth. Updating using an adapter helped, for a while. In the end I needed a new computer and that was the solution.

I hardly complain about Bluetooth these days, though. Bluetooth 5 really made a huge difference. The technology in Bluetooth 5 is perhaps the first time that the people who invented Bluetooth really understood what people used it for.

See, initially, Bluetooth was thought of as an alternative to Wi-Fi. You could send files with it, you could connect to servers with it, that sort of thing. Except it was dog slow and no one did that.

Bluetooth 5 concentrated on bringing fast pairing, stable connections, and good quality audio with no latency. This is the sort of thing that people wanted. Bluetooth Low Energy also made it possible for devices to connect for long periods of time without changing batteries.

Am I ready to say I love Bluetooth now?

Look, I’m not there, and I may never be. But I think that Bluetooth is where it needs to be right now. It’s used for what people want to use it for, like headphones and accessories. Bluetooth isn’t used as much for smart home stuff as you’d think, because Wi-Fi is more reliable for that. But Bluetooth is used a lot more in cars and it’s become a lot more reliable there. Most states have some form of law requiring hands-free communication and the best way to do that is Bluetooth.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.