How Bluetooth Works on Your Nexus 7

As with most gadgets these days, your Nexus 7 has the potential to use Bluetooth. Computer nerds have long had the desire to connect high-tech gizmos to one another. The Bluetooth standard was developed to sate this desire in a wireless way. Though Bluetooth is wireless communication, it’s not the same as wireless networking. It’s more about connecting peripheral devices, such as keyboards, mice, printers, headphones, and other gear.

Bluetooth is used to connect two gizmos. One would be your Nexus 7; the other, some type of peripheral. Here’s an overview of how the operation works:

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth wireless radio on both gizmos.

    It takes two Bluetooth gizmos to tango — the peripheral and the main device, such as the Nexus 7.

  2. Make the gizmo you’re trying to connect to discoverable.

    By making a device discoverable, you’re telling it to send a signal to other Bluetooth devices, saying, “Here I am!”

  3. On the Nexus 7, choose the peripheral from the list of Bluetooth devices.

    This action is known as pairing the devices.

  4. Optionally, confirm the connection on the peripheral device.

    For example, you may be asked to input a code or press a button.

  5. Use the device.

    What you can do with the device depends on what it’s designed to do.

When you’re done using the device, you simply turn it off. Because the Bluetooth peripheral is paired with the Nexus 7, it’s automatically reconnected the next time you turn it on (that is, if you have Bluetooth activated on the tablet).

Bluetooth devices are marked with the Bluetooth icon, shown in the margin. It’s your assurance that the peripheral can work with other Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth was developed as a wireless version of the old RS-232 standard, the serial port on early personal computers. Essentially, Bluetooth is wireless RS-232, and the variety of devices you can connect to and the things you can do with Bluetooth are similar to what you could do with the old serial port standard.

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