My favorite Bluetooth solutions

Bluetooth is a technology I use every day in some form or another. Trying to pin down just one favorite is like trying to pick which child is your favorite. Depending on the day and what is being done your favorite will change. Bluetooth is akin to a toolbox, with many different tools to choose from. How you use them is up to you. I generally like to start the day by having my Bluetooth headset, an Aliph Jawbone Noise Cancelling headset, pair with my Windows Mobile device as start in my morning commute so I can check voicemails and emails that start to trickle in as they are announced by Voice Command. The software that manages the auto-wakeup and shut off of both my Bluetooth and GPRS/EDGE radios is Pocketmax’s Phone Alarm (and there is even a version for WM5 Smartphone's here). On my commute in I track my ETA with my Bluetooth GPS unit with the solar powered iTrek Z1 Bluetooth GPS. I also use it as an ETA between my office locations an d outpatient clinics as well as a guide for those I have forgotten the way. The iTrek is compatible with all forms of GPS software including Google Maps for Mobile and Windows Live Mobile. Currently my favorite is iNav’s iGuidance software, which will hopefully come out with a revised version for Windows Mobile 6. (It also works great on UMPCs and other Windows enabled small touch screen devices like the Fujitsu P1610.

At work I generally continue listening to my Sirius Satellite radio I have on in my car via SiriusWM5 and my Bluetooth headset via a great freeware application called BTAudio as I answer emails and plan my day. BTAudio uses the headset profile rather than the Bluetooth headphone profile. It also uses less processing power which results in longer battery life, but at the expense of a lesser quality audio. The benefit it provides is that one ear is open to listen for the phone or half partake in an office conversation. It also works on both Windows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC Phone Edition) and Standard (Smartphone).

If I am out town on business or can’t find a wifi hotspot. I can easily be connected back to the office VPN via a Bluetooth PAN connection to my Windows Mobile 6 device. In Windows Mobile 6 it is even easier than with the previous version to use your Windows Mobile device as a dialup modem. Now with Windows Vista on my P1610 it automatically connects after I set up my device to share the connection via Internet Connection sharing over Bluetooth. If I am low on power on my device I can stop the connection and resume it over USB, effectively charging my Windows Mobile device and sharing its data connection. No longer do you have WM Modem hanging around after it’s “closed†either sucking up precious usable memory as in Windows Mobile 5. Internet Connection sharing gracefully shuts down and doesn’t hang around like its predecessor.

Bluetooth is a great utility and I still feel confident in my defense of the technology I had made several years ago, when some “pundits and experts†claimed that Bluetooth is dead. It is alive and a very useful tool on any Windows Mobile Device for the Road Warrior in all of us.

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