API version 18 will bring Bluetooth Smart support in 'a few short months,' AVRCP 1.3 also coming
As many expected, it's been announced that Bluetooth Low Energy support -- also known as Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready -- will be coming to a future version of Android. Android API level 18 (the current 4.2 Jelly Bean release is API level 17) will introduce support for the feature, which is designed to significantly reduce the power usage of Bluetooth while maintaining comparable data speeds and ranges of operation.
Certain Android devices -- such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 -- already implement Bluetooth Low Energy, however the new platform version will bring native support to all Android devices with compatible Bluetooth hardware.
In related Bluetooth news, Android API version 18 will also include support for AVRCP version 1.3, a standard for controlling TVs, Hifi equipment and other devices over Bluetooth. AVRCP 1.3 includes methods for showing metadata from music tracks and querying the status (i.e. playing, stopped) of the music source.
Googler Sara Sinclair Brody, who presented the 'Best Practices for Bluetooth Development' session at Google I/O, says API version 18 should be landing in "a few short months." That also means we can probably rule out any major Android releases for the immediate future.