Android Police

Articles Tagged:

ble

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Google Authenticator v4.60 Is Preparing To Add Support For NFC and BLE Communication [APK Teardown]

Many of Google's apps are in extremely active development, some are even on weekly update schedules, but there are others that seem practically abandoned until they get that one random update every 6 months or so. With an average of about once per year (so far), Authenticator is easily one of the best examples of the latter group. Given the infrequency of new versions, it's a little disheartening to see that there are no discernable new features in the latest release; but it's actually worse than that, one was even taken away. But don't let this get you down, it looks like this little app may be due for some new tricks soon as it may be entering wireless territory.

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Google Announces Eddystone, An Open-Source And Cross Platform BLE Beacon Format

Contextual awareness is one of the pillars of Google's recent push in mobile communications. You don't have to look far to see that: Google Now has been getting better and better at "guessing" the information that you need before you even look for it. But when it comes to location, we all know that it can use some help. Not just Google Now, actually. Most current location techniques are quite lacking indoors, underground, or simply fail to differentiate between you standing in front of a bus on one side or the other of the street. That's where beacons, which are small Bluetooth Low Energy devices, come into play by providing a quicker and more granularly precise location information.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Bluetooth Scanning Joins WiFi To Improve Location Accuracy

With Android 4.3, Android implemented the idea of always-on WiFi where, even if you had Wi-Fi toggled off, the device and apps could still scan for WiFi networks to improve the location's accuracy. Along with using network triangulation, it's another way of getting your current position as quickly as possible without having to rely too much on GPS signals.

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Android M is taking the idea further, adding Bluetooth scanning to the equation. Under the Location settings on M, you'll find a Scanning option in the menu, where both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning can be toggled on and off. When enabled, Bluetooth scanning will presumably look for BLE devices like beacons to get a quicker location fix.

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[Bug Watch] Bluetooth Will Begin Crashing After Encountering Too Many BLE Devices, Affects KitKat 4.4 And Jelly Bean 4.3

It's no secret that Bluetooth has been a problem child for Android, plagued with poor audio quality and connectivity issues. I've already covered a handful of common problems in a previous post, but another issue has been emerging in the last few months that threatens to virtually kill all Bluetooth operation on a device in the right conditions. The culprit is a nasty little oversight in the Bluetooth Low-Energy code added with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Once a device has been within range of enough BLE devices, the entire Bluetooth service will begin crashing.

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Symptoms

There is only one truly obvious symptom, but it's incredibly unhelpful for diagnosing the issue.

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Blackberry OS 10.3 SDK Beta Released With Android 4.3 Runtime Support, Bluetooth Low-Energy, NFC, And More

Blackberry may be having a rough time of it with flagging sales performance and complications with a certain carrier partner, but that hasn't stopped the company from courting app developers. In an effort to bring in more talent from the much larger and flourishing Android ecosystem, the Blackberry 10.3 SDK has bumped the Android runtime support up from API Level 17 to API level 18 (a.k.a. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean). The update will also brings some additional features and enhance integration with the operating system.

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Aside from the general advantages gained by moving to API level 18, this update will also enable support for Bluetooth Low-Energy and NFC.

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Bluetooth Low Energy And AVRCP 1.3 Coming To Android With API Level 18

There’s no denying that the switch to Broadcom’s Bluetooth stack in Android 4.2 has created some stressful situations for frequent users of the short range networking technology. The added attention also raised awareness for some features that are woefully lacking in the OS, something that other OEMs have been working to resolve independently. To a round of applause during the Best Practices for Bluetooth Development session, Sara Sinclair Brody announced Google will finally address two of the most popular requests. Beginning with API level 18, Android will officially support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and AVRCP 1.3.

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BLE, also marketed as Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready, has been a hot topic in light of many new wearable computing devices sporting the feature, like the Pebble smartwatch and Amiigo Fitness bracelet.

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[For Developers] Samsung Bluetooth Low Energy SDK Opens To The Public

For quite some time, we've been hearing about the potential advantages of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) spec, and a seemingly endless list of gadgets that could benefit from it. Unfortunately, while many modern flagship devices are equipped with the necessary hardware, Google has allowed the Android OS to languish without official support for the standard. Most of the top OEMs have built their own proprietary versions for the energy efficient protocol, but until now, only Motorola has freely shared access to its API. However, that changes today: Samsung is taking its BLE SDK public.

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Since building their own custom frameworks, both HTC and Samsung have required developers to submit applications for access to the SDKs.

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