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PREVIEW: Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 2 Bluetooth A2DP Profile
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 01.12.05 - 23:55:27 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 89374x
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Last week I wrote the first time about the next coming Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 2 and it's new Bluetooth features and the announced support for the Bluetooth A2DP Profile and today I had the chance to test it the first time!
What means A2DP for you? Basically it provides you Bluetooth stereo support for headsets which means you can listen your favorite music without any disturbing wires. That's cool and handy and in the future - I'm sure - we will see more and more car stereo devices which supports it as an input method as well which means as soon as you enter your car, your device will connects with your car stereo and you can continue listening your music on your car stereo!

So the question is how Microsoft has implemented A2DP in Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 2. So far, the A2DP profile wasn't available on Windows Mobile devices except the Samsung SGH-i300 where Samsung added it on their own, with the help of a third party developer. But now, with AKU 2, A2DP will becomes a native feature of Windows Mobile 5.0 which means you can connect it with basically any A2DP-compliant device!

The Bluetooth connection wizard hasn't changed on the first sight and provides you an overview about all available Bluetooth devices around you:

Now select the headset/device you expect to support A2DP and enter - as you used to do before already - the Bluetooth PIN:

Now, the native Microsoft Bluetooth wizard provides you an overview which Bluetooth profiles both paired devices supports and surprise, surprise - there is a new profile called "Wireless Stereo":

Click Finish and recognize the new icon in the upper status-bar:

The already well-known headset icon but now with a note in between which indicates that the connected headset also supports A2DP. From now, every tone your Pocket PC does is transmitted to the headset and the device-speaker is muted.

If you open the Windows Media Player 10 Mobile now and playback a file (doesn't matter if it is a video- or audio-file), the sound is transferred to the headset and you can listen it wireless!

Final Conclusion

It really looks like Microsoft did everything right, at least as far as I can comment it after testing and playing with it for 30 minutes. Pairing is as easy as you can expect it and since it is completely integrated into the standard Bluetooth wizard, it works flawless. Also the devices recognize if the headset is switched of as well as it is switched on again.

Well done! Can hardly await the full roll-out for all Windows Mobile 5.0 devices early next year and please listen ODMs and carriers: please don't make the mistake to remove it even if you can remove AKU features. We, the customers and users want it, seriously!

Cheers ~ Arne


 
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Comments
Posted by Michael Pang on 02.12.05 - 01:21:37

I wonder what the sound quality the A2DP can provided. Is it near FM quality or CD Quality?

Posted by Arne Hess on 02.12.05 - 01:33:28

A2DP is defined to support (near) CD-Quality with 44.1/48 KHz 16-bit.
What I can tell you from what I've heard on both, my Samsung i300 and the updated Pocket PC, it's way better then FM!

Posted by Michael Lin on 02.12.05 - 10:25:46

I am glad that I found your site on the web. Just can't wait to see the update of the A2DP suppport on WM5. I found that you had tested it on HTC universal in the post. I have a HTC wizzard and we called it 'Dopod 838' in Taiwan. Please keep updating it.

Many thanks!

Michael

Posted by AndyME on 03.12.05 - 11:49:36

This sounds good to me...:-)

Question: Would the carriers (t-mobile, vodafone..) typically propose updates for their devices? Or are such feature upgrades in general only available upon the purchase of a newer generation device?

Posted by Arne Hess on 03.12.05 - 14:28:32

AndyME wrote:

Question: Would the carriers (t-mobile, vodafone..) typically propose updates for their devices? Or are such feature upgrades in general only available upon the purchase of a newer generation device?

Normally ODMs and therefore carriers pick-up these AKUs. However, sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it takes shorter. It can happen, that a .X AKU isn't adopted but major X. AKUs are adopted most times and if you check carrier pages like from T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and Orange you can see a lot of ROM updates to be available for download. These ROM updates includes the Microsoft AKUs. Just ask your carrier where the put the ROM updates to.

Posted by RobertWebbe on 03.12.05 - 16:23:10

Arne,

I am testing A2DP devices for my work (phones, headsets, etc.). It is possible that you could mail me the update so I can test it also by myself?

Else I have to wait for another very long month until it will be avaialbe officialy on the i-Mate site (they confirmed me that it will be in the first part of the month January).

By the way, I keep a list on my site of all compatible A2DP devices:
http://www.robertwebbe.nl/A2DP.html

Posted by Arne Hess on 03.12.05 - 16:48:50

Robert, unfortunately I can't since it is a (still buggy) development ROM, not to be shared outside the closed user group it came from. Also I don't have it but got it flashed anyway, not to mention that 65 MB might kill your, for sure my, mail server! wink
But actually it's good news you already received from i-mate that they will make the ROM available early January! big_smile

And sure I know your A2DP page I ofter use as my research starting point for A2DP questions! Interesting to see how this page is growing now while a few month back there was basically no A2DP information in the net available.

Posted by SteveJ on 04.12.05 - 03:06:25

Did you manage to see if the new upgrade supports caller ID on BT headsets like the Jabra BT800 ???

regards

Steve

Posted by cruzer on 04.12.05 - 03:35:14

I was wondering if you are able to use the Motorola BT HT820 headsets to listen to MP3 files and if you received a phone call on your JasJar Unit you are able to answer the call and use the HT820’s built in mic to talk?

Posted by Arne Hess on 04.12.05 - 11:57:41

SteveJ wrote:

Did you manage to see if the new upgrade supports caller ID on BT headsets like the Jabra BT800 ???

I don't have the BT800, what's this caller I'D feature? Is it the headset with the small LCD display? If so, I can imagine that it shows at least the phone number of the caller, as it does with car kits [selfurl=http://www.theunwired.net/?itemid=2769]http://www.theunwired.net/?itemid=2769[/selfurl] but I don't expect that it shows the name.

cruzer wrote:

I was wondering if you are able to use the Motorola BT HT820 headsets to listen to MP3 files and if you received a phone call on your JasJar Unit you are able to answer the call and use the HT820’s built in mic to talk?

Yes,that's not a problem at all and works great since both profiles, headset and A2DP are paired in parallel. If a call comes and you take it, the A2DP profile pauses the Media Player and hands-over the call to the headset. As soon as you hang up, the playback continues.

Posted by RobertWebbe on 04.12.05 - 13:06:55

Arne Hess wrote:

SteveJ wrote:

Did you manage to see if the new upgrade supports caller ID on BT headsets like the Jabra BT800 ???

I don't have the BT800, what's this caller I'D feature? Is it the headset with the small LCD display? If so, I can imagine that it shows at least the phone number of the caller, as it does with car kits [selfurl=http://www.theunwired.net/?itemid=2769]http://www.theunwired.net/?itemid=2769[/selfurl] but I don't expect that it shows the name.

Arne,

It is a small LC display indeed, like luxury carkits have. Do you have any idea what is happening and what profiles are used if a calls come in and the CLI is presented on a display? Is it the Serial Port Profile which is sending the info? Same carkits (like the Parrot CK3100) can also show the name which is stored in the phones directory. I expect that the SIM Access Client Profile is also playing it's role in it.

The stranged thing I now discover is that the BT800 is supporting GAP, HandsFree-Unit and Headset-HS (http://qualweb.bluetooth.org/Template2. … uctID=2079).

I hope you can help me out with this.

Posted by AndyME on 04.12.05 - 14:15:44

I don't know if this answers your question: I have the BT800 and it does show the caller ID i.e. number (or name if the entry is stored on the phone). I am using it with a Sony Ericsson V600. but that is not a A2DP issue..

Posted by AndyME on 04.12.05 - 23:06:22

Arne's assumption was correct.
I just double checked:
with my MDA Pro (WM5) only the number is transmitted not the name ( i used entries stored in contacts as well as on SIM, did not make a difference).

Posted by Chris5 on 05.12.05 - 04:51:55

Actually, A2DP Profile is already possible with my Dell Axim X50 running WM 2003 SE and Siemens HHB-600 bluetooth headset (1.1) or Logitech Mobile Express headset (1.2). No need to wait for WM 5.0 AKU 2.

Posted by jing on 05.12.05 - 09:42:35

hello,

Have you tried plugging-in a wired headset while playing
music thru the a2dp? Will it be informed and give way to
the normal headset?

jing

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