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Review: Apple Bluetooth adapter Reviews
macosxhints reader Jacco Rens sent in a review of Apple's new Bluetooth adapters which I thought you might find interesting.

Read the rest of the article for Jacco's review...

Jacco writes:
I ordered my Bluetooth adapter from the US Apple store, since they are still not available here in Holland. With the excellent help of Rob from, I got them to Holland; others have to wait six to eight weeks :)

It's unbelievable how small these Bluetooth adapters are; they should have made a hole in it so we could put a rope through it to prevent losing it! As soon as I got them in, we did a computer to computer transfer to see how fast it was. With the computers only one meter apart, we managed to see a transfer rate of 30k/sec (like DSL).

Next thing was my phone, an Ericsson T39. Dumping a vCard or vCalendar file from my phone to the PowerBook was a snap, the files just pop up on the desktop. These files can be opened by Palm Desktop and more PIM applications; vCard is like an visit card and the vCalendar file is a Calendar item. Funny thing is that these are standards made in 1996 by Versit, which was a collaboration between IBM, AT&T, Siemens and Apple! So sending files to my computer was no problem; now I have a nice local backup of my data.

Next thing to try was of course, restoring this local backup back to the phone! No way, the phone doesn't seem to to keep hold of the data flow, resulting in double or missing entries in my phonebook. Item per item was no problem, and doing this by IrDa works well too. Maybe the problem is in the bluetooth version of my phone?

Synchronizing the phone as a Palm device with Palm Desktop doesn't work, since there is no palm OS on the T39. But I can drag and drop vCard and vCalendar files direct from the Palm Desktop onto the Bluetooth File Exchange application, as long they are not to big, which results in a bazerk phone.

Since Apple does collaborate now with Sony Ericsson, maybe we will see an application that supports all the functions of the nice phones. And I have some money at hand for the first developer that fixes us a nice application that will sync our phones through Bluetooth.
As submitted from Holland by Jacco, with some minor formatting and edits (with Jacco's permission) by yours truly...
  • Currently 2.33 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (3 votes cast)

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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Portable Modem?
Authored by: JohnnyMnemonic on Apr 27, '02 11:01:45AM
I appreciate the review. Kudos to Rog for getting the adapter to you.

Unfotunately, I care 0 about the features that you mention--but what I, and I think many others, do want to know, is: how well does bluetooth allow you to use your phone as a cell modem? Or does it at all?

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Portable Modem?
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 27, '02 11:17:22AM

that works well of course, although i don't have highspeed access to an GPRS line, it seems to work just as good as an IrDa connection.

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Portable Modem?
Authored by: on Apr 27, '02 05:04:14PM

What I, and I think many others, do know, is: BlueTooth allows you to use an BlueTooth equipped phone as a cell modem. :-)

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Portable Modem?
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 27, '02 05:07:27PM

hoe weet jij dat nu? je hebt er niet eens een!

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Portable Modem?
Authored by: on Apr 27, '02 05:14:32PM

:-) Joker

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Is that a LAN in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?
Authored by: JayBee on Apr 27, '02 01:01:42PM

I just can't wait till I get a nice new bluetooth cellphone. The idea of having the phone in my pocket and my laptop on the table, and being able to access the phone to get phone numbers and contact details, and to connect to the web without having to whack the phone next to the laptop just makes me all tingly...

Another example of stuff that Just Works :D

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help the ignorant
Authored by: loren_ryter on Apr 27, '02 01:28:16PM

OK, I'll bite, I had heard of this Bluetooth thing, but have no idea what it is. I don't even have a cell phone, but I do have a desktop and a laptop and a palm.

Can someone point me to a basic overview of this technology?

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help the ignorant
Authored by: murphpo on Apr 27, '02 02:18:47PM

The best way to think of Bluetooth is as a wireless alternative to peripheral cables. It offers a relatively slow wireless link (around 1M bits/sec) that is suitable for applications where serial ports or low-speed USB is currently used. Do not think of it as a competitor to 802.11 wireless networking. It is possible to establish IP networks over Bluetooth links, but (as you might guess) the performance is pretty horrible. Bluetooth beats 802.11 at two things: power consumption and design simplicity. BT devices suck way less power; that's why you see BT cell phones popping up but none with 802.11. BT chipsets are also *much* easier to design around than 802.11, allowing it to be included in compact devices like phones and PDA's.

A couple of prime usage examples:

-Wirelessly sync your PDA to your laptop. Instead of using a cradle or sync cable, they're able to communicate once in range of one another.

-Wireless headset for your cell phone. Instead of having to run a cable from your ear to your phone, you can tuck your phone away in your pocket and let a Bluetooth headset communicate with it wirelessly.

-Connect your PDA (or phone; late model Ericssons do it!) to a Bluetooth-enabled printer. Works just like IrDA would, but it's not line of sight and has a longer range.

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help the ignorant
Authored by: bilca on Jun 10, '02 05:50:33PM

The comparissing with USB goes deeper:
Both systems have an exchange of information about the device. Thats why a USB camera is seen as such by your MAC and the Bluetooth printer as a printer.
Look at for more info.

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help the ignorant
Authored by: MtnBiker on Sep 27, '02 04:05:58PM

By the way, some phones can get numbers beamed to them from a Palm. I just got a new Nokia 3360 and was bemoaning the fact that I had to reenter all the numbers when I discovered an IR option. So I beamed the numbers I wanted installed. not BlueTooth, but handy.

I went ot the store thinking I'd get a GSM phone with BlueTooth, but the coverage isn't there yet with AT&T, so I took this free (with rebate and a credit) phone instead.

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Wireless modem
Authored by: donvy on Apr 27, '02 02:36:34PM

Bluetooth does allow you to use your phone as a modem, without having to align any ports - you can have your phone in your pocket the whole time.

With the DLink Bluetooth USB adapter on my PowerBook, I can connect to the Internet through my mobile phone provider's GPRS connection through Bluetooth. I can also select to dialup to my ISP or the office network through my mobile phone - still through Bluetooth. Speed is like a 33.6 modem though. The T68i's battery life lasts about 2 days when Bluetooth is constantly on.

My PDA also has a Bluetooth connection, and I can HotSync to my PowerBook via Bluetooth. I don't see much point in this yet, since they're not too far from each other when you initiate a HotSync connection. Perhaps when these devices start "sensing" other Bluetooth devices and sync themselves automagically once you've paired them, that would be cool.

With the PDA connection to the mobile phone via Bluetooth, I can check email using Eudora, surf the Net using Blazer, and use those Palm VII PQAs for whatever, like FedEx tracking, for instance.

One can also do SMS text messaging from the PDA, and sync your mobile phone's addressbook to your Palm PDA's addressbook. There are even software available on the Palm OS to do EMS which take advantage of the T68/T68i's EMS messaging features. I haven't ran across MMS software though, not yet anyway.

All of the above are nothing new, we've always been able to do these things with wires. What's cool is now they're all wireless!

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Wireless modem
Authored by: spiritquest on Sep 14, '02 08:50:06PM

I got a MITSUMI bluetooth adapter recently and using GSM Remote X I could download all of my numbers - It works really well with InfraRed too.

I've got this Nokia 6310i and its a nice phone( as I didn't have to pay much for it :)) - I hit a snag after setting up the bluetooth preview software - setting up the phone to connect to the mac and vice versa works, hunting down a relevant Modem Script is just as important. Now I can dial up to my ISP remotely with my phone in my pocket :)) Except it is only allowing traffic to flow in one direction (IN) so therefore no data packets are of any use, as there is no ping !!

Anyone out there experienced this before .. I can't think of what would make it behave that way .. the firmaware on the phone is a little old, and its being upgraded on Monday (the firmware is the software that makes the cellphone/mobile work, its just like the OS on your computer) I;ve heard bluetooth and GPRS is a bit buggy on early Nokia firmware releases.

Well hopefully I can get round to experimenting with filetransfer soon :)

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Wireless modem
Authored by: jgardner on Sep 26, '02 11:34:31AM

What modem description did you use (in the bluetooth modem network settings) for your t68i?

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Wireless modem
Authored by: Bilal on Oct 16, '02 08:24:24AM

I am trying to establish a connection between my iBook OS X and sony ericsson T68i phone but cannot dial out. Getting setup error messages. I am using DLink USB bluetooth adapter. Can someone please help me setup this.

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Why a Bluetooth hotsync is cool...
Authored by: MacMatt on Jan 29, '03 02:22:52AM

> My PDA also has a Bluetooth connection, and I can HotSync to my PowerBook via
> Bluetooth. I don't see much point in this yet, since they're not too far from each other
> when you initiate a HotSync connection.

Ahh, but think of it in a desktop/office world where you have agents out in the field most of the day, but are in the office once or twice a day. One scheduling computer with a bluetooth access point. You enter the main office door and punch the hotsync button on your bluetooth palm while you walk to your cube/office your schedule is retrieved, which was updated while you were out in the field. Likewise, if you left early the previous day, the next morning grab your palm, punch the hotsync, put it in your pocket as you grab your coffee, hit the watercooler, and then head out the door once your palm chirps to indicate a completed hotsync.

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Or exchange files...
Authored by: tz on Apr 27, '02 06:31:16PM

With my Palm and ZBoxZ with bluetooth support (I wrote this file manager for the Palm, GPL @, I can move files between the mac and palm and then to a second mac - I was suprised, but even an application (which is a directory tree) moved over correctly. However Bluetooth is still a bit flaky. After about 3 hotsyncs I have to reboot one or both. Same with pushing files (that is what the extras directory with the OBEX agent and Bluetooth file exchange is for). Of course you can move files across two macs with Bluetooth adapters. I only have a T28 World with BT adapter. It doesn't quite work, though recognizes it - I wish the Dlink would connect sound to the Ericsson headset.

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Or exchange files...
Authored by: cheesy9999 on May 21, '02 01:34:19AM

The problem isn't DLink, or even Apple, it's just that no one has created an application to take advantage of the headset profile. I paired my Erisson HBH-15 headset with my Mac just fine. Now we just need an application to work with it.

I think that the best way for Apple to do this would be to add "Bluetooth Audio" to the sound control panel, which would let us use Bluetooth for a sound input or output.

From what I hear from PC users, Bluetooth is too slow for good quality audio. They say PCMCIA Bluetooth cards are much better than USB dongles for Bluetooth audio

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BT audio
Authored by: bilca on Jun 10, '02 05:42:14PM

The headset profile and the Handfree profile (for cars) use the BT 1.0 standard. This can handle 2 way phone audio, not MP3 of hifi quality.

If Apple would put the headset profile in OSX you can use your headset with VoIP. This would make calling very cheap.

Best thing would be a BT card like the airport card from Apple. As BT and WIFI use the same frequency the Airport antenna sould work.

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quick analogy
Authored by: JayBee on Apr 27, '02 10:19:56PM

The best introductory description I heard of BlueTooth was this:

AirPort is wireless short range non-line-of-sight Ethernet
BlueTooth is wireless short range non-line-of-sight USB

ie just as AirPort is used to hook into a LAN, BlueTooth is used to connect peripherals.

The Utopian extreme of this is that you'll walk into your house, your cellphone will check your home answering machine for missed calls/new messages, will set the VCR to record what programmes you highlighted in your PDA while you were out, turn the kettle on... yadda yadda yadda - the usual "Ain't the wired life GREAT?!" blah.

Except BlueTooth is actually here now, and actually has this functionality built in. A fridge that picks up email? Nah. A kettle that makes coffee as soon as I walk in the front door? I'd pay for that :D

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Bluetooth application
Authored by: brodie on Apr 28, '02 03:08:34AM

i use GSM Remote to sync contacts between my ericsson and mac, via the IrDA port, so i think its gonna work better with the bluetooth. if you dont have this app or any means of backing up your Ericsson, (they still dont support Macs, and apparently have no intention of it) this app rocks, and for me was worth the $10.

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Bluetooth application
Authored by: Rodney2009 on Jul 08, '12 09:58:39AM

Does anyone know if Bluetooth can be used for on line chatting if so how thanks i got it set up on my mac G5 thanks Rod

Thanks for replies,I will get back to U ASAP.

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noname ones
Authored by: yaslimarti on Oct 30, '02 09:45:01AM

I am pleased to tell you folks that i tryed nearly 22 different brands of these bluetooth usb adaptors ore they call it bluetooth dongle sometimes and 2 pcmci cards on my pbook g3 i had trouble with pcmci cards but no problem with usb ones even with the no name ones so you dont have to wait for apple certified ones there is no drivers no work in sys files just plug in and answer the questions your os. asks i have a ericsson r520 m and a nokia 6310 they are working perfectly for ericssons you must update the phone software to the letest avilable versions which is free thats all my adaptor is tecom which is a canadian firm and it is taiwan made ofcourse and has 100 m. range with its powerfull antenna but even with the noname brands that i tried was succesfull to transmite in 25 m range and those are max. 25 us arraund here in turkey i am sure you can get them in any pc shop in your country and one last note i am using jaguar fully updated

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Bluetooth and Stealthy Internet [hehehe]
Authored by: digitalone on Jan 29, '03 06:59:54AM

So, can I plug my adapter into an iMac on a corporate LAN on use it as a proxy or gateway for wireless internet access from my bluetooth-enabled powerbook? That would be sweet. My net admin thinks the iMac is just a toy, we use it as a "tech tool so our phone support agents (cable modem tech support) have a Mac to play with..."
Idiot. I have almost unfettered access, and I bypass most of the garbage on our network [read: proxy] and go straight to the router. Unbelievable speeds....hehehe, he'd have absolutely no idea!

Anyways, thanks for the help as always.

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Bluetooth and Stealthy Internet [hehehe]
Authored by: dferrero on Jul 09, '04 01:28:30PM

so - how do I get the other mac apps (specifically to use a ssh enabled SOCKS proxy?

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