Android and Bluetooth

Sunday February 27, 2011 by cl0secall

The more I learn about the Android OS, the more disappointed I become. I don't really have a good grasp of what kind of resources are spent on developing the Android OS nor do I feel that I have a good grasp of the goals or direction of the project. But I am more and more discovering that those goals and direction are not likely to be mutual with my own.

Case in point: Bluetooth support. I had the misunderstanding that Android had a full bluetooth stack with abilities similar to a desktop computer with a bluetooth radio. Turns out I was wrong. According to this page on the Android website there is only limited support for specific bluetooth services. Notably missing from the currently supported is an HID service or profile. Also of note is the very limited support for OBEX services/profile. Perhaps I'm just "spoiled" because the Blackberry that I had used at my previous job had better support for this kind of thing (though I don't know about HID on a Blackberry) although I absolutely loathed that Blackberry.

I've been holding off on upgrading my very slow and at this point somewhat dated HTC Hero until I could find a solution for typing going forward. It appears that my choices are to either get a phone with a full keyboard built in, or abandon the Android platform. I'm surprised at myself for seriously considering the latter and going back to a "dumb" phone.