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CONNECTIVITY: Microsoft to expands the Bluetooth profiles in Windows Mobile 5.0
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 25.11.05 - 15:14:55 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 35341x
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Seriously we have to admit that in the past, Bluetooth wasn't treated too serious by Microsoft. If you see the PC world, it took until Service Pack 2 for Windows XP to get native Bluetooth support from Microsoft and also with Windows Mobile it took until Windows Mobile 2003.
However, also the ODMs missed the opportunities later, Microsoft provided with the native Bluetooth stack for Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone because the Windows Mobile Bluetooth stack implementation was designed to be just a framework including the most important profiles and ODMs were asked to add more profiles as required.

Unfortunately, except Samsung who added A2DP-support on top of the original Microsoft Bluetooth stack, I'm not aware of a single other ODM which added more Bluetooth stacks to the native one but it was always used, out of the box, as designed by Microsoft. On the contrary ODMs used other Bluetooth implementations, like the one from Widcomm/Broadcom if they wanted to have a wider range of Bluetooth profiles.

Now Microsoft has picked-up the problem itself and is going to expand the Bluetooth profiles for Windows Mobile 5.0 (while 2003/2003 Second Edition users are left in the rain since these platforms are not enhanced anymore).

Hands Free Profile (HFP) including Phonebook Transfer
With AKU (Adoption Kit Update) 1.1 for Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone new Bluetooth profiles were added, namely hands free (beside headset which was already supported) as well as supporting phonebook transfer to a variety of car manufacturers Bluetooth car kits such as from BMW and many others.

AKU 1.1 is already implemented into some newer devices, such as the i-mate K-Jam, SP5(m) and Qtek 9100 and you can verify yourself if your device uses already AKU 1.1 by opening the "About" screen on your Windows Mobile 5 device. If the build number is greater than 14402 the devices is using AKU 1.1 already and provides you the new Bluetooth profiles already.

So far, neither the i-mate JasJar nor the O2 Xda Exec based HTC Universals has AKU 1.1 and the ODMs and operators has to pick it up and compile a new ROM, hopefully soon.

However, it doesn't means that the Hands Free Profile is supporting the SIM Access Profile (SAP) which is a different one!

Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
AKU 2.0 for Windows Mobile 5.0 (for both, Smartphone and Pocket PC), which is expected to be released early next year, will also includes support for the Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile profile which is designed to transfer a stereo audio stream like music from the device to a headset or car radio.

As said above, A2DP is already implemented into the Samsung SGH-i300 Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition Smartphone, however this isn't based on Microsoft's A2DP implementation but Samsung added it itself.

As always, it's up to the ODMs and the carriers, which AKUs are implemented into their devices and AFAIK they can also select/deselect features; so let us hope the ODMs and carriers will not make the mistake and remove the new Bluetooth profiles.

Cheers ~ Arne

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