Bluetooth 4.2 on iPhone 6 and other devices

The Doctor11

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Dec 15, 2013
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http://9to5mac.com/2015/10/09/bluetooth-4-2-iphone-6-ipad-air-2/
Although it’s unclear whether a firmware update or changed hardware inside more recently manufactured iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 devices is responsible for the new Bluetooth 4.2 support, upgraded firmware might be the answer. In the past, Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 devices could not be upgraded to newer versions of the standard, but Bluetooth 4.0 devices were able to upgrade to Bluetooth 4.1 using product-specific software patches. Some reports have suggested, however, that Bluetooth 4.2’s speed and data capacity improvements would require new hardware, making Apple’s implementation somewhat curious.
I find this very interesting. Hopefully it is a firmware update and not new hardware, but even at that the Apple Watch page still says 4.0 so it wouldn't really make a difference for a lot of people.

What are your thoughts on Bluetooth 4.2 on older devices?
 

CNeufeld

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Nov 25, 2009
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I would have thought it was backwards compatible. So the fact that you have Bluetooth 4.2 on your phone won't prevent you from using a Bluetooth 3.x device. You just wouldn't get the better security or speed.

In which case, I'm not sure what the question is...

C
 

The Doctor11

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Dec 15, 2013
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I would have thought it was backwards compatible. So the fact that you have Bluetooth 4.2 on your phone won't prevent you from using a Bluetooth 3.x device. You just wouldn't get the better security or speed.

In which case, I'm not sure what the question is...

C
Yes this is correct, not really much of a question more of thoughts on this.
 

CNeufeld

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
937
515
Edmonton, AB
Not sure what one can think about this... It's not like a new version of Bluetooth is likely to be retro-fitted back onto older devices, usually. And considering there's likely not many Bluetooth 4.2 devices right now anyway to connect to, there's not much point in manufacturers trying to shoe-horn that into existing devices. But as new devices are released, we'll see more and more that take advantage of the newer technology.

As far as the older iPhones getting it, it was likely something that was easy for Apple to add with low risk of breaking anything. Or it was better for them from a stability point of view to include all the iPhones 6's in the mix, as opposed to having a separate code base for the older ones. The more complex you make things, the higher the risk of problems.

C
 

The Doctor11

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Not sure what one can think about this... It's not like a new version of Bluetooth is likely to be retro-fitted back onto older devices, usually.
That's actually the interesting part about this.
It was possible for existing Bluetooth 4.0 adapters to support Bluetooth 4.1 with a software update, and we've contacted the Bluetooth SIG to confirm that this is also the case for Bluetooth 4.2. Version 4.0 is still by far the most common version of the spec in shipping consumer devices, though mobile platforms like Android Lollipop have begun to add native support for version 4.1.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014...ings-ipv6-better-privacy-and-increased-speed/
Probably should have included this in the OP.
 
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