Apple Stops Giving Bluetooth the Cold Shoulder

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2002-05-27

Bluetooth counts among its backers nearly every significant force in the fields of networking, hardware and operating systems. However, at every Bluetooth congregation Ive attended, one vendor has been conspicuous by its absence: Apple.

Thats why it was good to see Apple previewing a Bluetooth solution for Mac OS X at Macworld Expo earlier this spring. Ive been testing that solution, which comprises a USB Bluetooth adapter from D-Link and the Mac OS X driver and application software to use it. The D-Link adapter is small—its about 1.5 inches long—and its wider than necessary to accommodate its USB port. Also striking is the adapters $49 price. 3Com, by comparison, charges $124 for much larger USB Bluetooth adapters. Unfortunately for Windows and Linux users, only Mac OS X drivers are currently available for the D-Link adapters.

I installed the second technology preview version of Apples Bluetooth software, which became available for download last month, and was able to wirelessly exchange files between two Bluetooth-equipped Macintoshes at speeds of about 70KB per second. The software also allows wireless hot syncing of Palm OS handhelds and can link Macintoshes to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones.

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