How Android support for Bluetooth Smart will impact app developers


Android-BluetoothThe Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a not-for-profit trade association based in Kirkland, Wash., recently announced that Google has committed to native Android support for Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, which use version 4.0 of the technology standard, sometimes called Bluetooth Low Energy. The technology reduces power consumption via a low pulsing method but also works with the previous "Bluetooth Classic" versions. These Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, which run on a dual-mode chipset, can include a range of accessories such as the Fitbit Flex or the much-discussed Pebble watch.

Bluetooth SIG's partnership with Google means developers will get an Android API that will allow them to feed data from Bluetooth Smart Ready devices to their apps and back more easily than has ever been possible. For example, Bluetooth sensors might be placed in a soccer ball and a developer could create an Android app that measures the force of a user's kick.

While Apple has been offering support for Bluetooth Smart Ready devices since late 2011, and Microsoft recently did the same with its Windows Phone 8, improving support for Android represents an enormous leap forward, according to Suke Jawanda, chief marketing offer at the Bluetooth SIG. "Google has an open source ecosystem that Apple inherently doesn't have," he said. Feature