Android, With or Without Bluetooth ?


The first Android Developers Challenge yielded some truly great applications (AndroidScan) but a large amount of them were geo-localisation programs that utilized GPS, WiFi and cameras. Not necessarily a bad thing. Now, with the latest SDK (0.9) released last Monday, many developers noticed that they wont be able to use a common handset communication feature for writing apps – Bluetooth.

Its said that the Android 1.0 won’t have a “comprehensive” Bluetooth API. That’s the key word here. The Android handsets will have Bluetooth capability in the 1.0 OS. What we won’t have is the ability for developers to write apps with Bluetooth in mind. That has to be left up to Google for now.

The official Android Developers blog has updated this week with reasons why the API has been left off and it comes down to time crunches.

The reason is that we plain ran out of time. The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along, but needs some clean-up before we can commit to it for the SDK. Keep in mind that putting it in the 1.0 SDK would have locked us into that API for years to come…Rather than ship a broken API that we knew was going to change a lot, we chose not to include it. We absolutely intend to support a Bluetooth API in a future release, although we don’t know exactly when that will be.

So sleep easy, your G1 will have Bluetooth.


  1. I had a thought for a bluetooth application. What if your phone kept track of its distance(measured by signal strength) between it and the headset it was connected to. It could be used as an antitheft device by causing an alarm to go off on the phone if signal gets too weak.

  2. can bluetooth be used for tethering purposes? I would like to be able to use my data plan from my phone to access the web from my laptop.

  3. For a second I thought you were going to say it wouldn’t have bluetooth, a showstopper for me and many I know! Phew.

  4. I’d rather tether via wifi, but yeah, it has to at least do Bluetooth DUN _OR_ Wifi tethering. The ideal would be if it did Bluetooth DUN, PAN, and wifi tethering.

    Bluetooth HID (as both device and host) and BIP (as both device and host) would also be REALLY nice. Use my android phone to remote control other devices, and use a bluetooth keyboard to type on it.

    One of the biggest reasons I never got an iPhone was: lack of support for HID and DUN (nor any kind of tethering).

  5. I wish that the bluetooth section was further along on the current G1 phone, including the use of a PAN and DUN profile. Not for nothing, this is still a Google operating system, and not a Microsoft one. Microsoft has left out a lot of people with devices by killing the DUN profile. It left a lot of people unable to use things like 3rd party GPS systems unable to update while on the road. BTW, the G1 unit was tested with a brand new stereo bluetooth headset and for some reason it refused to play nice. I introduced a GPS into the mix, which did again tether to the G1 (it required a hack to tether, and again no DUN for updates). The same hack allowed the GPS to give access to the G1 and stereo headset just fine.

    Headset: Parrot SK4000 (1 week released to the US)
    GPS: TomTom Rider 2nd edition (latest firmware, and home software, 1 year old)
    G1 phone: (less than a couple of weeks old)

    Standards are needed otherwise things are going to stop playing nice very soon.

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