Apple on Thursday released
Bluetooth 1.5 for Mac OS X, a new version of their Bluetooth drivers which adds long-awaited support for Bluetooth-enabled printers. What’s more, Bluetooth-equipped headsets are also supported.
Bluetooth is a wireless Personal Area Networking (PAN) technology that allows digital devices to communicate with one another over short distances. It’s relatively low-speed compared to 802.11-based wireless networking protocols like those supported by Apple’s AirPort and AirPort Extreme products.
Bluetooth is thus used mainly on the Mac platform as a peripheral device communication technology, to allow Macs to exchange data with PDAs, cell phones and other peripherals. Some Bluetooth phone owners use the technology to exchange contact and calendar information with their Macs via iSync, for example.
Increasingly, Apple is shipping Macs with Bluetooth pre-installed or available as an option. Bluetooth can also be added on to existing Macs using a USB dongle manufactured by third-party companies. Apple, for example, sells through its own online store an external adapter made by D-Link.
Up until now, Bluetooth on the Macintosh has been hampered by its lack of support for printers, a feature that’s long been available for Windows-based Bluetooth adopters. With this update, that support has been added, along with support for Bluetooth-equipped headsets.
Apple advises that headsets must support the Bluetooth Headset Profile (HP) and printers must support the Bluetooth Hard Copy Replacement Profile (HCRP) in order to work with this update — please check with your headset or printer manufacturer to make sure your model complies with these specifications. Apple also advises that users of internal Bluetooth or D-Link USB adapters make sure that they have
the latest firmware, v1.02, installed.
As MacCentral posted this update, Bluetooth 1.5 for Mac OS X was not available for download from Apple’s Bluetooth Web page, although it appeared in the Software Update System Preferences pane.