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PREVIEW: Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphones to support HID Keyboard Bluetooth profile natively
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 10.07.05 - 19:24:24 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 25747x
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Following the previous Windows Mobile 5.0 Bluetooth HID test with a Pocket PC, today I had the chance to test a Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone, if and how the Bluetooth HID profile for keyboard is supported with Smartphones also (or if it is supported with Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PCs only).
As before with the W-Fi tests, it's a reference design I'm not allowed to talk about nor I'm allowed to make and publish photos, so I can not provide you a photo of the device, together with the Think Outside Bluetooth keyboard but screenshots only which are public now anyway (since Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 5.0, previously known as "Magneto").

First of all you have to open the Bluetooth manager which is part of the "Connections" now:

In the Bluetooth wizard you have to add/search for a new/available Bluetooth device and Windows Mobile will lists all available devices:

After you've selected the device, Windows Mobile asks you to add a passkey you have to confirm on your keyboard as well:

Windows Mobile confirms that it has successfully connected with your Bluetooth device and as always you can give the lately paired device a new name, if required:

After this procedure, Windows Mobile makes you aware that the bonded device supports the HID profile by showing you the supported services, in this keys Microsoft named it "Input Device" which you have to check:

Done, you keyboard is added to the list of bonded devices:

Interesting enough is the fact that the Smartphone changed the shortcuts for applications and services. Normally it uses the keyboard number from 1 - 0 to allow you to open applications faster (without navigating through the menu items) but after you've bonded a Bluetooth keyboard, it's changed to letters instead, which allows you to launch the applications form your keyboard:

Okay, now the final test if it really works and partially it does but with some serious glitches. The number keys doesn't work (maybe because you have to use a function key on the Think Outside keyboard) but also some keys doesn't work (like N and M as you can see bellow) as well as the keyboard layout is changed from German (keyboard layout) to English (device language) which means Z and Y are interchanged (the same what happened with German keyboard, connected to an English Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC).

Final Conclusion

As great as native Bluetooth HID support for Windows Mobile 5.0 is, I found way too many problems (yet) in getting it working with the Smartphone. Okay, it might be because the device is a reference device only and might not contain the final Magneto bits but I don't think so. As much I know the way Microsoft develops new Windows Mobile versions, I'm sure this is already finalized and will not change with the final RTM (the bits the manufactures get to implement it into their devices). So I'm not sure how much I like the way it is integrated and for me it looks as we can not do without device optimized drivers in future anyway. I just hope, think Outside will continue the driver development and will provide a Windows Mobile 5.0 compliant Bluetooth keyboard and mouse driver as soon as possible.

Cheers ~ Arne

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