How to Use Bluetooth on Your Fire Phone - dummies

How to Use Bluetooth on Your Fire Phone

By Dan Gookin

One wireless communications standard available to your Fire phone is Bluetooth. Yes, it’s a curious name. Unlike Wi-Fi, Bluetooth is used to wirelessly connect two devices, such as your Fire phone and some peripheral device, such as a headset, keyboard, speakers, or a printer. That connection is handy to have.

Understanding Bluetooth

To use Bluetooth to wirelessly connect a gizmo to your phone, you need to understand a few Bluetoothy peculiarities.

First, you need a Bluetooth peripheral, such as one of those wireless ear things you see attached to some phone users’ ears. The variety of Bluetooth peripherals goes beyond ear thingies, although that’s typically what people think of when Bluetooth is mentioned.

Second, you need to make the device (or your phone) discoverable. That is, you turn on the Bluetooth radio and tell it to say “Hello?”

Finally, you connect the two Bluetooth gizmos. This process is known as pairing.

After a device is paired with your phone, you can use it just as though it were connected by wire, but it’s not:

  • You can connect a number of Bluetooth devices to your phone and use them all at the same time. Each device must be paired individually.

  • When you’re done using a Bluetooth peripheral, you simply turn it off. Because the Bluetooth gizmo is paired with your phone, it’s automatically reconnected the next time you turn it on.

  • Bluetooth devices are marked with the Bluetooth logo. It’s your assurance that the gizmo 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.

Activating Bluetooth

You must turn on the phone’s Bluetooth radio before you can use one of those Borg-earpiece implants and join the ranks of the walking connected. To turn on Bluetooth, follow these directions:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Wi-Fi and Networks.

  3. Choose Pair Bluetooth Devices.

  4. Slide the master control to the On position.

    The Bluetooth radio is on.

To turn off Bluetooth, repeat these steps, but slide the master control to the Off position:

  • You can turn on Bluetooth also by choosing the Bluetooth Quick Action from the notifications drawer.

  • Activating Bluetooth can quickly drain the phone’s battery. Be mindful to use Bluetooth only when necessary, and remember to turn it off when you’re done.

Pairing with a Bluetooth device

To make the Bluetooth connection between your phone and another gizmo, such as a Bluetooth headset, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that Bluetooth is on.

  2. Turn on the Bluetooth gizmo or ensure that its Bluetooth radio is on.

    Some Bluetooth devices have separate power and Bluetooth switches.

  3. Open the Settings app.

  4. Choose Wi-Fi and Networks and then Pair Bluetooth Devices.

    You see a list of available and paired devices. Don’t fret if the device you want doesn’t yet appear in the list.

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  5. If the other device has an option to become visible, select it.

    For example, some Bluetooth gizmos have a tiny button to press that makes the device visible to other Bluetooth gizmos.

  6. Choose the device.

    The phone and Bluetooth device attempt to pair. You may be required to type the device’s passcode or otherwise acknowledge the connection.

After pairing, you can begin using the device. For a headset, the device should be active right away: Tap the headset’s button to answer an incoming call, for example. Many other peripherals are accessed by choosing the Bluetooth icon from a Share menu or screen.

  • Bluetooth peripherals are connected as long as they’re on. To break the connection, you can either turn off the gizmo or disable the Bluetooth radio on your phone. Because the devices are paired, when you turn on Bluetooth and reactivate the device, the connection is instantly reestablished.

  • When a Bluetooth headset is paired, a Bluetooth icon appears on the in-call screen. Use that icon to switch between a Bluetooth headset and the phone’s microphone and speaker.

  • Bluetooth can use a lot of power. Especially for battery-powered devices, don’t forget to turn them off when you’re no longer using them with your phone.