Apple is slowly extending support for Bluetooth 4.0 throughout its entire family of products.
The company’s first Bluetooth 4.0 products were the MacBook Air and Mac Mini, which were introduced in July last year. The iPhone 4S, introduced in October last year, was the first smartphone to support the new wireless standard, and with the new iPad, Apple brings the same, low power, high speed Bluetooth standard to its tablet.
Just in case you’re not aware, Bluetooth 4.0 is the latest specification of the wireless standard, which, in addition to supporting higher theoretical speeds, also greatly reduces power consumption.
With an ecosystem of tightly integrated products, Apple is in a position to actually create a great experience by tying all of its devices together using Bluetooth 4.0. Apple did something very similar with AirPlay, except that AirPlay wasn’t a standard created by a third party, but by Apple itself.
There have, in fact, been rumors about Apple planning to add Bluetooth 4.0 support to AirPlay, in addition to the support over Wi-Fi. That would work wonders for battery life of iOS devices and MacBooks.
Not just Apple devices, but even third party accessories, especially health related gadgets and sensors, would benefit greatly from the improved Bluetooth 4.0 specification. For example, a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible heart rate monitor can run for more than a year without a battery change. These sensors can, in turn, be coupled with apps to create a rich experience for the end user.
Bluetooth 4.0 hasn’t caught a lot of momentum till now, which is presumably why it didn’t earn a mention at Apple’s media event, but when the standard starts picking up, almost all Apple devices would already be ready to take advantage of it.