At some point, you’ve probably heard someone refer to “using Bluetooth®” when discussing their cellphone. Most people know it simply as the feature that lets you make hands-free calls on your phone, using either a headset or a system in your car. But it’s actually much more versatile and widely used than you may realize.
Bluetooth is a class of technology, rather than a specific brand or product. It allows several devices to connect at the same time using radio waves instead of wires or cables. Bluetooth powers speakers, headphones, and other wearable devices, which give you the flexibility to communicate, listen to music, or even watch movies without relying on any hardwired connections. You also get to place speakers in any room or convenient space where you want to use them.
You can use Bluetooth to share contacts or photos between phones. Look for the “Export via Bluetooth” option in your phone’s Settings to take advantage of this. It’s also a great way to transfer your contacts from an old phone if you’re not able to use its SIM card to do so.
Many fitness trackers and watches connect with Bluetooth as well, letting you monitor your steps or heart rate. It also can be used to print wirelessly—many home printers are now equipped with Bluetooth, allowing you to print photos or documents directly from your phone.
Bluetooth doesn’t consume any data, and while it does use up a lot of battery, that’s easily managed—just turn it off if you’re not using it. And don’t be afraid to use it—as you’ve learned here, it offers lots of conveniences just about anywhere you go.
Finally, about that name: Bluetooth is named for a 10th century Danish King, Harold Gormsson. As the legend goes, King Harold loved blueberries so much that his teeth were perpetually blue! More significantly, he was also famous for uniting Scandinavia, making his name a natural for this groundbreaking technology. After all, Bluetooth literally unites your devices into one well-connected wireless family!