Yesterday I posted another item in a series of posts about using Bluetooth features in App Inventor. Bluetooth (together with low power wireless technologies such as Zigbee) are significant technologies that make “The Internet of Things” possible. These low power wireless technologies enable all kinds of devices to communicate with each other and with other devices such as Android phones and tablets.
Today, most Bluetooth devices run Bluetooth version 2.1 up through version 4.2, depending on the device. Bluetooth has undergone considerable enhancements and evolution over the years from providing a short range, lower speed serial data link suited for wireless earphones to providing high speed packet data communications over short distances while using very low power.
Bluetooth continues to evolve with Bluetooth version 5.
Bluetooth 5 adds more improvements including:
- Up to 4x longer range
- Faster data rates – on par with WiFi for some applications
- Lower power
However – and this is important, most Bluetooth version upgrades require new hardware, and this is true for Bluetooth 5. To use version 5 features you will need version 5 compatible hardware – which is not yet generally available on Android phones and tablets.
Because of this, it will be a while before new Bluetooth features are widely available on many devices.
Some phones, like my Nexus 5, support many – but not all features – of Bluetooth LE (a version 4.x enhancement). To get version 5, I will need to eventually buy a new phone.
Many Bluetooth modules sold for use with Arduino boards are compatible only with version 2.1 of the Bluetooth specification. In theory, newer devices will be backwards compatible – that is, a version 4 device should be able to talk to a version 2.1 device, but only using version 2.1 features and capabilities.
Why I am putting hashtags like #Bluetooth in the title of the blog posts?
Hashtags assist in searching for information on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and other social media outlets.
This blog transfers posts to Twitter and Facebook pages using a software module that uses the title and adds a link to the blog post. To add #hashtags to those social media posts, I need to put the #hashtags into the blog post title. Until a month ago, I used a different software module that permitted me to add the #hashtags only to the posts going to social media. Unfortunately, that software module’s support was turned off and is no longer usable – I had to switch to a new solution which did not have that feature.