Google to offer native support for Bluetooth on Android devices

Infotech Lead : Android users, phone manufacturers and app developers would welcome Google’s plans to offer native support for the latest Bluetooth technology on Android devices soon.

This will enable Android device owners to sync and connect their phone with Bluetooth products ranging from headphones, to keyboards and now Bluetooth Smart appcessories such as the FitBit Flex or the soon to be launched Pebble watch.

Several high-end Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy SIV and the HTC One have the chip needed to support the latest Bluetooth innovations, yet on the Android operating system, phones were unable to collect or use the data that devices like activity trackers produce. Companies that make these devices were unable to create  supporting apps for potential Android customers. Now all Android phones and tablets that have a dual mode Bluetooth chip will be called ‘Bluetooth Smart Ready’.

This is good news for phone and tablet manufacturers, application developers and consumers as well. Consumers can use Bluetooth to connect more of their technology and make the most of the exploding new market of Bluetooth Smart appcessories .Developers can now use the new Android API to feed data collected from Bluetooth Smart appcessories, such as fitness monitors or medical devices, to their apps running on Bluetooth Smart Ready smart phones and tablets.

With this announcement, Google joins the league of Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry who provide native software support.

According to ABI, the market for Bluetooth appcessories  – an accessory device with a companion application, is likely to grow from 220 million units in 2013 to nearly one billion in 2016. The Bluetooth SIG ‘s Bluetooth developer enablement initiative will support this growth with its web portal featuring a community forum, training and other resources that make designing with Bluetooth easier and faster. The Bluetooth Quick Start Kit provides an introduction to Bluetooth Smart technology.

The Android developer community will soon have access to  the Bluetooth Application Accelerator which will provide detailed implementation and developer guidelines to speed time-to-market for appcessory devices.

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