Apple to Add Bluetooth Support to OS X

Apple Computer has announced that next month it will release software that will allow computers running OS X to use Bluetooth. This software will be free and the company is offering the D-Link DWB-120M Bluetooth USB Adapter for $50. This will work on any USB-equipped Mac running Mac OS X v.10.1.3.

The Bluetooth software will be included in Technology Preview 1, which Apple will release in April.

It has been designed to work with Palm OS handhelds with Bluetooth adapters, Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and peripherals, and can also connect to other computers with Bluetooth adapters.

It will be able to automatically discover other Bluetooth-enabled devices within its range. Connecting is as easy as selecting the desired Bluetooth-enabled device that appears in the list and clicking the "Pair" button.

Steve Jobs demonstrated a Sony handheld HotSyncing with a Mac via Bluetooth at MacWorld Tokyo today.

Details of what functions the software and Bluetooth adapter will enable are sketchy. The fact that it can connect to a mobile phone certainly implies that it will allow the computer to access the Web using the phone as a modem. It is not yet clear whether a Palm connected to it will likewise be able to access the Web or if the adapter will only allow HotSyncing.

Palm inc. recently began selling a Bluetooth wireless-networking SD card from the PalmStore. It costs $130. Sony has announced that it will release a Bluetooth Memory Stick adapter in Japan this month. It is not yet known if it will be available in other countries.

Thanks to Don Reith for the tip. -Ed

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Excellent news

jjsoh @ 3/21/2002 10:29:04 AM #
This is great news for Mac owners seeking Bluetooth connectivity. I'm also surprised to see that it's priced so competitively low.

However, I have trouble finding any devices like this for the PC. And even the ones that I have come across are more than $100USD and can only be purchased outside of the U.S.

Has anyone heard of any USB products like this for the PC available here in the U.S.?


RE: Excellent news
peter167 @ 3/21/2002 10:33:36 AM #
Sorry, I don't know. I know one sold in China cost around US$60.

Lie is the future.
RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 10:50:57 AM #
Awesome device! Now more of us know what it feels like to want something but not have it be compatible with my PC (like PC products for Apple users)!

If anyone has seen this for the PC, PLEASE post it hear. That thing rocks! And that thing is small and cheap. That's more like it.

RE: Excellent news
big_raji @ 3/21/2002 11:03:34 AM #
A search on a Wholesaler website turned up something from 3com for $177CDN (About $110US) Wholesale Price.

Product Information for SKU: 128795
Category Subcateogry
Media Manufacturer Part No. Class Restriction
Retail Platform SKU UPC
PC 128795 662705422541

That's the only one I've found so far.

If you sing in french while hopping on one foot, the evil birds won't come out of your bathroom mirror.

RE: Excellent news
big_raji @ 3/21/2002 11:06:13 AM #
Sorry, here's a link too.

Too expensive for me right now.

If you sing in french while hopping on one foot, the evil birds won't come out of your bathroom mirror.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:08:53 AM #
I clicked on the link above and i say the adapter available for PC's...forget the price, i am curious as to why the mac adapter is a tiny device while the one for PC's looks like it's about 5 inches long with a stubby antenna foldng the PC one better, surely the mac adapter is much less intrussive...i wouldn't even be able to fit the pc bluetooth thing behind my computer...maybe it has longer range, i don't know?

RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:11:54 AM #
I am sure the hardware is PC compatible. Is the drivers that would have to be written for PCs.

Where is the troll that is always shouting:


RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:13:38 AM #
This is how it is with the Mac. As in DVD creation and MP3 playing an Apple solution is much superior to the PC counterparts.


RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:20:27 AM #
RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:25:10 AM #
Here is a usb-bluetooth device from china:
The website is in chinse, but they showed an example (with many pictures) how to connect it with bluetooth-enabled iPaq and printer. The price is < 100US$ (680 YMB).

RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:46:47 AM #
I wouldn't be surprised if Dlink comes out with windows software/drivers for this soon. I am assuming the range on this adaptor is probably less than the 3com one (due to the antenna size).

RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 12:12:00 AM #
All of the iBooks and PowerBooks have built-in antennas (for AirPort), so it's possible that the device makes use of that. Whoever gets one first should definitely let us know how this thing works. It seems almost too good to be true!

RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 12:35:47 AM #
I think it uses the internal Antenna of all Macs, that's why it's cheaper, and for first time in a long while this thing is on the Mac first.

RE: Excellent news
MacPrince @ 3/24/2002 6:09:19 PM #
No, this adapter doesn't use the Mac's built-in connects to the USB port, and only the USB port. It's antenna is entirely self-contained inside the case.

RE: Excellent news
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 4:45:26 AM #
I have been looking for this bluetooth pc card or usb for my powerbook g4, for almost one month. This is really an excellent news because I can be online more freestyle with my Ericsson T68 and free GPRS services by my handphone operator... thank you Apple, you really know how to please your supporter...

Now if we could have...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 10:48:00 AM #
a BlueTooth enabled Palm Desktop. Imagine hotsynching using BlueTooth instead of USB or serial...kinda cool baby!

Sony Clie and Bluetooth
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:11:30 AM #
I read somewhere that Steve Jobs was using a Sony Clie, with bluetooth, to hotsync to Palm Desktop for Mac OS X.

Does anyone know if this bluetooth stick will be released in the US?

RE: Now if we could have...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:12:20 AM #
> kinda cool baby!

OK, then buy it. What are you waiting for?

For me, I'm in no hurry. infrared is good enough for me and plenty fast.

RE: Now if we could have...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:57:18 AM #
$130 + $50 = $180 + S/H, This is just so you can do sync with freebie cable?

Hey I need a new Lamborghini, can you spare me some money brother?

RE: Now if we could have...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 4:52:10 PM #
Was he natively syncing with Palm Desktop X (I thought SoOny's didn't have native sync support under OS X). Thanks.

RE: Sony & PDX
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 5:17:02 PM #
I thought I had read that Palm Desktop X did/will have Sony support built in.

RE: Now if we could have...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 12:09:57 AM #
It was a T-615. That, and several other Sony's can sync natively under 8, 9, or X.

RE: Now if we could have...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 1:19:08 AM #
And there are other Clies with bluetooth adapter (not MS modules) on some other booth for bluetooth demo

What about windows drivers?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 11:50:14 AM #
Why doesn't someone just make windows drivers for this bluetooth card?

RE: What about windows drivers?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 12:12:29 PM #
The company (which is called D-Link) probably already has drivers for Windows. Apple probably struck a deal with D-Link so that Macintosh support was announced first, which is really good for Apple because they can say they were the first to support a low-cost BlueTooth solution for desktop and laptop computers.

In exchange, Apple exclusively advertises D-Link's solution and will probably start bundling it with their desktops or laptops.

Microsoft does not have to strike deals with hardware makers to support Windows, simply because very very few hardware makers ignore Windows, if they want people to buy their hardware.

RE: What about windows drivers?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 4:14:00 PM #
The PDF file on W-Link's site for the WBT-3020/WBT-3022 lists Windows drivers, so I suspect Windows users won't be left out in the cold for too long. I guess it's not 100% certain that this is the same unit, but it seems pretty likely. (W-Link is a wholly-owned subsidiary of D-Link)


RE: What about windows drivers?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 4:21:13 PM #
I take that back -- it looks it's almost certain that they are the same. If you look at the zoomed picture here on PIC you can almost read "WBT-3020" in the lower left corner, vertically.

W-Link and Bluetooth Software co Widcomm are partners
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 8:22:30 AM #
Besides Microsoft, Widcomm (Compaq, Acer etc.), Extended Systems (more then 100 Bluetooth Design Deals e.g Palm, Motorola, HP, 3COM just to name a few) and Digianswer (Toshiba, NEC etc.) are the biggest Bluetooth Software suppliers to date.

Hsinchu, Taiwan - Dec 12, 2001 -- W-Link Signs Strategic Alliance Agreement With WIDCOMM

W-Link will license WIDCOMM's BTE (Bluetooth Embedded Software), BTW (Bluetooth Communications Software for Windows), and BTW-CE (Bluetooth Communications Software for Windows CE). W-Link will also manufacture the BlueGate 2500 Access Point for WIDCOMM, and will license WIDCOMM technology in order to develop and manufacture an access point product for the SOHO market. WIDCOMM and W-Link will also jointly develop and market other Bluetooth-enables and 802.11x wirelessly-enabled products.

This alliance will link WIDCOMM's Bluetooth wireless connectivity expertise with W-Link's product development and manufacturing strength. It will also allow WIDCOMM to leverage the established worldwide distribution channels of D-Link, W-Link's parent company.

Windows CE .Net with Bluetooth drivers pre-installed
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 8:31:40 AM #
Microsoft launched Windows CE .Net, the latest version of its operating system for "embedded" devices like mobile phones and set-top boxes, on Monday. Windows CE .Net will ship with Bluetooth drivers pre-installed, making it easier for hardware developers to produce standardised, Bluetooth-enabled products. Fifteen vendors announced upcoming products based on CE .Net, including Fujitsu, with the I-pad mobile sales terminal; Hitachi, with a next-generation PDA; Motorola, with the EVr-8401 Enhanced TV Viewer; Samsung Information Systems America, with the Nexil wireless handheld computer; and Wyse Technology, with the Winterm 3000 line of Windows-based terminals.,,t269-s2102172,00.html

RE: What about windows drivers?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 8:36:14 AM #
And we care why? This is a PALM site. Just because it Bluetooth-related, doesn't mean we give a rat's ass about WinCE.

Digianswer is subs. of Motorola
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 8:43:57 AM #
Did you know that Motorola is using Bluetooth Software of Extended Systems although they have there own Bluetooth Software subs. co called Digianswer?

RE: What about windows drivers?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 12:26:07 PM #
I just have to say this about that:

How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot for once? :)

Web / Email Access?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 12:37:48 PM #
Does anyone know if a BT-enabled Palm can access the web / use email via an internet connection on a BT enabled desktop (regardless of PC or Mac)? It sure would be nice to spread a few of these around the offices here at work and then be able to surf / email from wherever I am . . . Combine that with a similar set up at home, and that's really all I'd need.

RE: Web / Email Access?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 2:36:11 PM #
Think of bluetooth as a kind of serial or ethernet cable. It allows you to make a connection. It's up to the software to provide features like you're asking.

Will software like that exist? Probably.

RE: Web / Email Access?
Ed @ 3/21/2002 2:38:35 PM #
You might be interested in the PicoBlue Internet Access Point, which allows Bluetooth-enabled handhelds to connect to a network or the Internet. It has a range of up to 100 meters and supports up to 7 simultaneous users. It is available now for $500.

News Editor

RE: Web / Email Access?
Xian @ 3/21/2002 2:41:24 PM #
I'm actually doing it at home right now, using my Toshiba laptop with TDK BT PC card as a router to my Palm m505 with BT SDIO card. Haven't had a problem with it, except going out of signal range.

RE: Web / Email Access?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 5:48:26 PM #
Xian -- Any special configuration needed on either the laptop or the handheld to make the laptop a 'gateway' to the internet?

Palm, Pico Comm., Red-M etc. use XTND Bluetooth Software
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 8:34:55 AM #
One of there reasons why Palm tried to acquire Extended Systems Inc. is that this company has licensed its Bluetooth software development kits (Embedded and Windows) to more than 100 companies for implementation in next-generation products. Customers include Palm, 3Com, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, FlashPoint, Xircom, Red-M, Nissin, Taiyo Yuden, Silicon Wave, NEC, Mitsubishi, Crossbow, JVC, Pico Communications, Norwood Systems, Hughes Network Systems, Johnson Control and Visteon, just to name a few.

To put it simple: Palm's Bluetooth SDK Stack = Extended Systems Embedded Bluetooth SDK Stack ...which is also used by Sony with there Bluetooth Memory Stick.

Beam-me-up Scotty....

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/21/2002 4:25:27 PM #
This is excellent.
Just want to thank Ed for the excellent web site you got going here.
Great content & updates.
Ed - I remember awhile back that you were looking for a job -
Are you employed now ???

Captain Kirk.

I would still prefer an Airport/Bluetooth Combo card.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:56:39 AM #
I hope Apple makes one soon. I wonder if sharing the built-in screen antenna would improve the Bluetooth's range?

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