AH Android logo  1.1

Android L Brings BLE Peripheral Mode to Android

June 25, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer

During Google’s developer conference, Google I/O, we got a developers preview of the next Android software update. Along with that developers preview we got a full changelog for the new software and hidden in the code is an interesting new feature. This new feature is called BLE Peripheral Mode, and it adds a level of communication between devices.

As of now, we only know the new Android software by a single letter-“L”. Android L-which may later be called Android Lollipop-has been previewed at Google I/O. The changelog has also been released and in the coding there is something called BLE Peripheral Mode. BLE stands for Bluetooth Low Energy, and is a way for devices to communicate with eachother. and this is not a new feature. In current versions of Android, BLE can be used but only allowing for a singular primary device. In Android L, BLE gets updated to BLE Peripheral Mode.

BLE Peripheral Mode is planned to allow for apps on any device to send data to any other device. According to the Android developers blog BLE Peripheral Mode will allow for one device to act as a pedometer, for example and send that data to another device. “Android Devices can now function in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) peripheral mode. Apps can use this capability to broadcast their presence to nearby devices-for example, you can now build apps that let a device to function as a pedometer or health monitor and transmit data to another BLE device.”

Taking the theory described above and putting it into a real life situation may make things even more clear. Let’s assume that you like the UI of a tablet app better that tracks your health. It wouldn’t make much sense to walk around with a tablet in order to get a more accurate of your steps taken throughout the day. Using BLE peripheral mode, you will be able to use the pedometer on your smartphone, and transmit that data to the tracking app on your tablet. All of this is fantastic news for developers as they’ve been asking for this for quite sometime.

Many developers have already made apps that use peripheral mode but until Android L, have only been available for iOS. Peripheral mode has been available for iOS which only makes Android developers that much more curious as to why Android hasn’t received this capability. Though with Android L, developers can start integrating their BLE peripheral mode apps into the PlayStore.

This is only one of the many new features in Android L that has been discovered, and there will surely be more to come. Until then head on over to our article all about the change log in Android L for a quick look at what’s known so far.