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iPad and Bluetooth: Compatible Keyboards, Headphones, Printers...
What Kind of Bluetooth does the iPad Use?
A Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR (Extended Data Rate) technology. This is faster than any other bluetooth protocol.
Do it with Bluetooth!
The iPad and bluetooth were made for each other. No cables means no tangles no mess and no spilt coffee every time you stand up (or is this just something that happens to me?).
There is no doubt that the iPad is a great tool for play and work. As a standalone it will do a hundred things well- it will play movies, games and music like no other portable. It is excellent as a web surfer and one of the best ways to connect to social networks
But are you really going to get the most from it just as it is?
The power of the iPad platform means that it is capable of much more. Like the human brain, most of its potential goes untapped.
Add a full qwerty keyboard for the iPad and you can really start to connect at speed to the internet. You can text, keep up with Facebook and Twitter, write your great novel, pass that exam and even work on that killer iPad App that will make you a billionaire (maybe).
A portable printer will keep you productive anywhere. The iPad touchscreen is a great controller but so is a mouse.
Bluetooth speakers mean great sound for that party that just happened to develop.
Bluetooth Device Compatibility with iPad
The free iOS 4.2 firmware update for the iPad has made the iPad compatible with many more devices, If you don't have it already. it is a must have for the extra features. (why we had to wait so long for simple stuff like folders, is a mystery you should take up with Steve Jobs)
Jail-breaking an iPad- less trouble than it sounds- also increases device compatibility but that is outside the scope of this page.
Where the iPad and Bluetooth are a let Down
If you want to transfer files from a PC to your iPad using Bluetooth you are likely to be disappointed. The iPad was not designed with this in mind, which is a pity! Emailing files or using iTunes are the best options.
The Best iPad Bluetooth Keyboards
These can be folding, the kind that roll up or just very lightweight items like the Wireless Apple Keyboard. Compatibility issues with keyboards are minimal.
This is a fully functional keyboard that happens to fold in two. When folded it turns into a tough hard shell case that will travel easily in a bag, backpack or suitcase.
Pairing is easy enough and though the key are a little smaller than you might be used to, everyone but people with the fattest fingers will quickly adjust.
It works with HID or SPP bluetooth and is readily compatible with Android devices like Droid or EVO smartphones too.
Stowaway Sierra Bluetooth Kbd
The foldable stowaway in the video below is a design classic but hasn't been made for a few years. If you come across it (sometimes Amazon have one, sometimes not) it will be expensive. On the other hand if you see one for sale, used, it might be worth snapping up for the great design and never-improved-on portabilty.
Full Size Bluetooth Keyboards
Most bluetooth keyboards will work with an iPad. Logitech keyboards like the diNovo featured in the video below are not especially designed to be portable but, if you have one already, it is a great way of working on an iPad at home.
Apple Wireless Keyboard- will Travel!
The very elegant Apple Wireless Keyboard is ultra thin and very easy to transport in backpacks and suitcases. The aluminium body is tough enough to survive in its supplied case and it will give a touch of class to everything that you do.
Ideal for brightening up a dull hotel room!
iPad Bluetooth Speakers
Motorola EQ7 Wireless Hi-Fi Stereo Speaker - Portable speakers
The iPad can be a problem pairing with Headsets and Speakers but this recently released speaker system works well. Pairing is automatic with no inputting of codes or hunting for drivers. The controls on the device will adjust volume. The iPad's own small speakers cut out on pairing.
The speaker system itself is small, light and perfect for carrying with you. The sound is a huge improvement on the iPad's built in speakers with a good bass and rich sound field.
Sony SRS-BTM30 Bluetooth Wireless Speakers
There are a number of people who testify to the compatibility of these speakers with the iPad but no absolutely rock solid statement on the manufactures website. Sony just tell you they are compatible with almost all bluetooth players,
They are well liked by buyers at sites like Amazon and Target. This is one persons review: 'Very easy to set up. IPad connected in no time. Fine quality sound, very good volume.'
Size: around 12 inches by 8 by 4.
Best iPad Bluetooth Headsets
You need to running the iOS 4.2 for iPad firmware update to get the most from iPad headsets. Unfortunately you can not use voice control yet- except through wireless keyboards. Maybe in another update...
So only stereo headsets (without mics) are recommended right unless you want to use VOIP like Skype for calls. Customer feedback suggests Skype is not the finished article on the iPad yet but people who do get it working, love it.
Bluetooth Stereo Headset- Motorola S9-HD
This headset allows you to listen to music in stereo on most Apple devices and can be used as a headset for calls through the iPhone or iPad VOIP like Skype.
To be honest, I wouldn't buy this right now for calls through the iPad alone. Buy it for listening to music or using with an iPhone. Play around with it for calls on the iPad!
iPad Bluetooth Mouse?
The video below shows you how to install a bluetooth mouse on the iPad.
Bluetooth Mini Keyboard with Touchpad for iPad
If you are good with mini keyboards- maybe you have a Droid or similar, already- this device might appeal to you. The mini keyboard also has a touch pad and laser pointer.
The battery is the rechargeable kind and it has a range of around ten meters.
Best iPad Printer?
The truth is, WIFi is your best option for a printer. It is easy to use the iPad with any Airprint compatible WiFi printer.
If you looking for one of the best iPad compatible printers around you could investigate the HP Photosmart eStation All-in-One. It is expensive at around $300 online but it is state of the art for printing from the web with many useful apps- it will also print anything on your iPad as easy as pie.
Skype on the iOS 4.2.1
Bluetooth headsets with microphone are a worthwhile option for the iPad if you want to use Skype.
The new iOS makes Skype a better and easier proposition.You can make video calls through Skype as well but this is means setting up a web cam for use with the iPad which is cumbersome (if fun!).