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Bluetooth 4.2 will make your connected devices smarter, faster, and more secure

The Bluetooth Special Interests Group has shared with the world what Bluetooth 4.2 will bring to connected devices. According to details published by the group, consumers can look forward to improvements with regards to privacy, battery conservation and speed.

With hardware supporting Bluetooth 4.2, it will be possible to connect directly to the Internet through IPv6/6LoWPAN (without a go-between), negating the requirement to have specific access points or hubs configured to gain access to multiple devices. But that's not all, data can be transferred up to 2.5x faster with a substantial packet capacity increase.

As well as the new wireless capabilities, improvements made to battery consumption will be warmly received by consumers. Unfortunately for those interested, the specifications section of the website fails to shed light on how incremental battery life improvements will be with Bluetooth 4.2.

We'll be sure to keep you all updated with latest technology supporting this latest version of Bluetooth, but we will likely have to wait for 2015 before we begin to see manufacturers implement support. Current-gen devices that feature Bluetooth 4.1 will be able to make the switch to Bluetooth 4.2 via a firmware update, which is also down to the manufacturers.

Source: Bluetooth SIG

34 Comments
  • Since both wearable and smartphone need the change I bet it's going to take longer than we want to see this being used :/
  • Why's that? It'll be backward-compatible, so there's no reason for devices to exclude it. It's just like 802.11ac/n/g/b/f/ma/z(or whatever other letter there are out there).
  • You missed my point, lots of new wearable are only being released with bluetooth 4.0, even if the next version of android gets 4.2 support, who the fuck knows when our wearables will be updated to 4.2. I want to be able to use it, I just have little faith its going to come soon after this is released, and our "old" devices will get the necessary firmware update.
  • Actually, most if not all the new features on the new .2 spec require no new hardware, so they can be implemented on existing BT 4.x devices as long as the device receives updated drivers etc.
  • If true, that's pretty awesome! The article I had read said that the developers hadn't released the relevant information for the hardware of the change, so it seemed like it would require updated chips to get 4.2 support.
  • At least it can be enabled via a firmware update so we won't be forced to buy new hardware in order to take advantage of it ☺ Posted via the Android Central App on my Oneplus One
  • Don't count on that...
  • I bet the Moto 360 and moto devices will get the upgrade!
  • Bluetooth 4.1 was released over a year ago and so far I haven't seen a single device that was released with 4.0 get bumped to 4.1... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Same here. I wonder why manufacturers are upgrading, or are still creating devices that use 4.0 and not 4.1?
  • I'm still a bit shocked that there isn't a bluetooth video specification. For instance for wireless Android Auto.
  • Considering Bluetooth is only good for 2-5 Mbps of bandwidth (theoretical max throughput, real world after overhead would be less), it's probably not the greatest solution for video. It'd be almost like streaming on 3G (pre-HSPA+ etc, think Sprint/VZW 3G).
  • Why does this remind me of some movie where the aliens take over, or some evil company wants to rule the world. Posted via Android Central App
  • Because your on acid Posted via the Android Central App
  • what a stupid response
  • What a stupid question.
  • Could this mean Bluetooth audio is less awful? Posted via Galaxy ace plus running Speedmod 2.5 with Xposed
  • 3.5 mm will always be better than bluetooth. (wired is always better than wireless in just about every case.)
  • This is blatantly not true.
  • How so? ALl the audio tech guys would agree. 3.5 mm although analog is better than bluetooth audio even though it's digital. Lot of variables involved, but it's generally true anything with a wire is better than wireless (ethernet vs wifi, wireless hdmi vs wired, etc.) In my lifetime, anything wired is superior than anything wireless.
  • Land-line Phones versus Cell Phones too?
  • If you're comparing non hd-voice, isn't the quality of POTS generally better and certainly more reliable than cell phones? At least, that's what consumer reports said. Wouldn't know personally as I ditched my landline as it was a wasteful $30 a month burden and switched to ooma. And talk uses very little data, something like < 10 kbps. Certainly no where near 320 kbps music. And bluetooth/wifi is full of garbage background noise on 2.4 ghz that will certainly degrade the experience. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/5-reasons-to-keep-a-land...
  • If you're talking audio quality and reliability, yes, land-line is superior to cell.
  • Ignore him he says all kinds of stupid shit and never backs it up Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's a pretty big generalization, consumer grade Wi-Fi equipment can actually approach or surpass Ethernet over short distances btw, since 10GigE hardware has never taken root past the enterprise market. Regular Gigabit Ethernet is still more reliable tho (if you have the Cat6 wiring for it). As far as audio goes, it can be pretty subjective and depends on the application. The standard Bluetooth spec allows for some pretty high bitrate compression, basically beyond the point where any human can actually detect it in a blind test, not every Bluetooth device uses this and most early devices defaulted to very low bitrates which got BT it's bad rap with audio purists. I'm not sure what you're going on about as far as analog vs digital, you do realize there's a digital to analog conversion regardless of whether you're using a 3.5mm jack or BT no? At the end of the day whatever BT device you're using still needs a DAC (digital to analog converter) in order to output a signal that speakers drivers or headphones can interpret. A BT device might even output over RCA/3.5mm in which case another device's amp might be further transforming the signal that leaves the BT's DAC, and all those things can impact the sound more than BT compression itself. BT compression even under less than ideal circumstances might be less harmful than the ham fisted mastering lots of producers apply to records these days, killing the dynamic range etc (ever wonder why many classic/jazz recordings always have a lower volume? this). The crappy integrated DAC in many Bluetooth devices might also let them down, but it's not like phones have very high end DACs either, amplification probably matters more in the end. So like I said, it can be very subjective and relative. If your phone has a high output impedance (and many do) it can alter the sound of a pair of low impedance headphones a lot (and most probable cans are <50 ohm), you might or might not like that but it's changing the sound regardless, a BT device with low output impedance may very well sound better just by being less offensive or adding less coloring. I'd say for most people with <$500 headphones/IEM or stock car stereos, Bluetooth is more than fine for mobile use, ambient noise is probably gonna impact your sound more than BT compression. Of course a crappy pair of headphones with BT is still crappy, but the headphone design and engineering (or lack thereof) is what makes it crap. Hard to beat the sheer convenience tho. I used BT at home sometimes with my cheapest pair of Samson powered monitors by the bed but I finally got a little Wi-Fi streamer for them (a Beep). $200 Class A amp for my Infinity desk speakers (from Emotiva) and $250 Schiit amp for headphones, nothing too crazy as far as the hifi audio enthusiast world is concerned but probably better than average. Just putting it out there for reference's sake, not sure if I qualify as an "audio tech guy". I use a Sony MW600 BT receiver all the time with my Ety IEM & V-Moda XS; I run my full size NAD/Beyer/Philips Fidelio headphones off the aforementioned amp or my Denon AVR tho, mostly cause I have no need for wireless when using them. (plus the Schiit amp isn't remotely portable) RF would be better for in place wireless setups tho, like many Sennheisers use.
  • Hmm, please show me that gigabit WiFi. Impulses.
  • AC wifi, but most real world tests I've seen have shown 400-500 mbps real world. Still, nothing beats good ol cat5e/cat6 gigabit when you factor in latency as well.
  • Speeds faster than half a gig are achievable (real world) but it pretty much requires a multi stream desktop PCI-E card and a minimum of interference, obviously most people want to use Wi-Fi with (underpowered) mobile devices or across multiple obstructions so real world speeds are always lower... Doesn't change the fact that relatively cheap Wi-Fi hardware CAN be faster than GigE, 10GigE is still much more expensive, so there is a usage case for this out there. I'm sure there'll be USB 3.0 adapters that can match that speed eventually, and some laptop users could then just hook up a hub for better Wi-Fi speed, etc. I've actually got an ASUS RT-AC68U and the matching PCI-E card in the house, which was fastest combo a few months ago (it's since been usurped)... Never bothered testing speeds tho since it's not in my own desktop and we have concrete walls in Puerto Rico, so anything farther than within the same room drops performance a lot. CAT6 is definitely the way to go if you're handy, I was just using it as an example of fringe cases where wireless can be better or faster, relax. There's an Ethernet cable going from that ASUS router to a GigE switch in my room, and then to another router because having two is the only way to get coverage across the entire house.
  • You also have to keep in mind AC is only 5.0 ghz, with limited range. Good for small urban apartments where there's a ton of 2.4 ghz wifi interference, but in suburban houses , it's "ok." Good for the same room and maybe the next room, but definitely won't blanket a whole house, and for sure won't go through concrete walls. But 10gigabit is coming down in price... slowly. But I don't see "much" residential usage of those speeds..... not yet of course
  • You are absolutely correct Posted via the Android Central App
  • Could somebody elaborate on how a 4.1 BT device is suddenly able to connect to the internet with 4.2? So w/o adding a dedicated wifi module BT can use the wifi signal? That would mean BT door locks can be controlled remotely w/o a dedicated bridge - if supported by the manufacturer. I am looking for the exact scenario since my disabled wife cannot come to the door and I am afraid the distance between her tablet and door is too far for the signal to work 100%. In turn this opens up the possibility for all kinds of security holes,
  • I think it's for passing thru a net signal, be it from Wi-Fi or whatever, so one BT device connected to the other can access the internet thru the second one's connection and appear online with it's own IP etc. Sort of like tethering but pre negotiated and part of the initial BT connection, could be wrong tho.
  • Whatever Bluetooth is still slow Posted via the Android Central App
  • So many quick versions. we need stable and continued support for existing devices