Listening to Bluetooth (or at least trying to)
Subject:   A thorough how-to...
Date:   2004-03-04 02:31:41
From:   sanfordmay
Finally somebody wrote a how-to for this process. Amen. I've been trying to help people at Apple's Web site, but I'm not a technician, I'm a writer -- not even a technical writer. The first high hurdle people seem to meet -- other than impossibly incompatible hardware -- is getting their BT headset into headset profile pairing mode as opposed to handsfree. I -- heaven forbid -- read the documentation for my Jabra FreeSpeak; thus I was fortunate enough to know ahead of time that I needed to pair in headset profile with my PowerBook, and handsfree for my mobile phone if I wanted the extra features -- like voice dialing -- of the handsfree profile. The second hurdle is dealing with the fact that the headset can only maintain a connection with one device at a time; if you keep your mobile phone near your Mac, the mobile tends to grab the BT headset connection if the headset is on and you have to power off the phone or manually disconnect to switch to the Mac. The former hurdle is just a matter of education and the latter is, I think, a limitation of the headsets and mobiles, not the Mac.

As to audio fidelity, I often get a clear, excellent signal until I wander to the limits of range -- which in my present apartment is short for my FreeSpeak. The range of my Nokia phone, on the other hand, is good. Sometimes too good, as I use Salling Clicker and on occasion I can go all the way outside without it dropping the connection to my PowerBook and triggering Clicker's "away" features. I'm not sure if this is device-dependent signal strength, random interference (in the case of FreeSpeak static), quirks, or a bit of all three.

At any rate, dozens will appreciate your article. And for my part, I think things like headset support, Salling Clicker (now supporting Ericsson and Symbian mobiles, and Palm OS) and Apple's elegant keyboard and mouse are moving Bluetooth from a potentially useful technology to a tangibly useful one.