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PREVIEW: Windows Mobile 6 Hands Free Bluetooth Profile Implementation
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 23.03.07 - 13:17:17 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 24796x
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Since I got the first Bluetooth enabled devices into my hands, back in 2001, I'm a big fan of the idea to connect devices wirelessly to share files, information and more. However, I was never a big fan of the way Microsoft supported and implemented Bluetooth in the past. Became it native for Windows XP PCs not until the release of the Service Pack 2, also the Windows Mobile implementation was weak but became not better until the Windows Mobile 5 AKU 1.1 was introduced.
Sure, the basic functions even worked before with Windows Mobile 2003 but if you have a look into the support for other features like the hands free profile - it was a sad story. But anyway, it looks like this will change with the commercial introduction of Windows Mobile 6 later this spring.

During the past days, I've tested a couple of (official) Windows Mobile 6 Beta ROMs on my Smartphone (aka Windows Mobile Standard device) and Pocket PC Phone Edition (aka Windows Mobile Professional device) and recently I've tested it with my Parrot CK3100 Bluetooth Car Kit as well.

Since the introduction of the AKU 1.1 for Windows Mobile 5.0, Microsoft supports contacts sync (see my preview here) through the hands free profile which means a car kit with hand free profile gets a copy of all device's contacts as well as a copy of the call history including dialed numbers, received calls and missed calls. Nevertheless, Microsoft never supported further vital data like network name, signal strength information or battery status as supported in the hands free profile.

This seems to change now with the upcoming release of Windows Mobile 6 as the photos bellow shows. First a Windows Mobile 6 Standard smartphone which shows on the left of the car kit display the battery status and on the right the signal strength:

Same for a Windows Mobile 6 Professional smartphone:

Interesting enough, non of the devices showed the network name but this seems to be because of the weak signal quality in the underground garage where I made the photos because I have already seen the network name in the display as well - while I was driving.

Final Conclusion

Okay, it's just a small improvement, I mean we are talking about displaying the signal strength, the battery status and the network name but in my humble opinion it shows, that Microsoft seems to finally support Bluetooth serious. Way to go, that's what we want to see and it makes the Windows Mobile smartphones a real mobile phone at least.

Cheers ~ Arne

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