Spotlight on Bluetooth: A complete guide to the wireless tech we love to hate

Spotlight on Bluetooth
Spotlight on Bluetooth (Image credit: Android Central)

There are a lot of wireless technologies in the world today, from Wi-Fi to NFC to plain old LTE. However, we'd argue that Bluetooth, among all of them, is the most divisive.

It's a short-range wireless protocol that's everywhere around us — our phones use it to communicate with headphones or send photos, our computers use it to connect to mice and keyboards, and businesses use it to track customers around stores — but many of us don't know how it works, where it came from, and why it exploded in popularity over the last few years.

Working with our colleagues at Windows Central and iMore, we decided that now was the right time to shine a Spotlight on Bluetooth. We have around 20 posts spread out between the three sites detailing everything from where the name came from to why it's so bad in cars to how companies like Google and Apple have built on top of it to make it more reliable.

At the same time, we found some ways to have fun with the technology, highlighting some of the hilarious and sad aspects of Bluetooth — the terrible design trends it started, and the headphone jacks it killed.

With that, thanks for reading, and let us know what you think — and what other topics you'd like to see shine our spotlight on in the future.

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Are you sure we shouldn't just keep talking about Disney+? I kid, I kid. Looking forward to something different.
  • Wired for audio is always my preference for quality, and yes, I can hear the difference instantly. However, Bluetooth has gotten pretty darn good, and I use it more than I did before as long as I'm not doing it for audio pleasure or critical listening. My Ghostek SoDrop2 Bluetooth headphones sound better than some of my "utility" headphones I use for work. Besides, the wire gets in the way when I'm eating lunch, lol. I use BT for file transfer all the time, and frequently send test photos to the computer because Google degrades the quality. For other Bluetooth devices, I've got a couple of BT speakers, 4 or 5 sets of headphones, a keyboard, Logitech ultra-thin mouse, Ticwatch smartwatch, a few gaming controllers, and then there's the car audio system I use for music and hands-free calling. Oh, I also have a Streambot Mini for audio in our antique car, but the microphone is not very good. I technically can use the Streambot Mini for other uses, including plugging into a mix console with a 3.5mm to dual quarter inch splitter, but I would never even think of doing that! My Bluetooth speakers have actually been collecting dust because Boomsound on the U12+ can cover a room by itself. It's very rare to have any problems, and to only issue I've had this YEAR, is accidentally pressing "forget" for the car stereo, and having to pair it again. Range is very good, no more glitches, automatic connections work, and for some reason latency is not an issue. I watch video with BT headphones all the time and the sync is spot on, so maybe HTC figured it out and didn't bother telling anyone. Again, lol.