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Using Bluetooth

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Go Up to Using the RTL in Multi-Device Applications

The RTL provides classes to implement Bluetooth support in your applications. When your application is running on a Bluetooth-enabled device, your application can use the Bluetooth capabilities of the device to connect to applications in remote devices and exchange data with those remote applications.

Platform Support

Platform Classic Bluetooth Bluetooth Low Energy
Client Server




Mac OS X











*Windows Server does not support Bluetooth (see: General Bluetooth Support in Windows).

For Mac OS X and iOS, BluetoothLE is only supported on the following hardware:

  • MAC OS X:
    • Mac Mini
    • Mac Air: mid2011+
    • MacBook Pro: mid2012+
  • iOS:
    • iPhone 4S+
    • iPad 3+ (Retina)
    • iPod Touch 5th Gen.+

Classic Bluetooth on iOS

RTL does not support Classic Bluetooth on iOS. The reason is that only hardware manufacturers are given access to the SDK for Classic Bluetooth. For more information, see Apple Developers: MFi Program.

Classic Bluetooth Vs Bluetooth Low Energy

Note: Image source:

Classic Bluetooth:

  • Useful for applications with data streaming because it achieves greater throughput than Bluetooth LE technology.
  • Data transfer rate : 2Mbps.
  • High power consumption. Not suitable for certain devices such as wereables...
  • Commonly used on cars, Handsfree profile...
  • Technology based on standard Bluetooth profiles (SPP, DUN, PAN).
  • The protocol is limited up to 7 slaves.

Bluetooth Low Energy:

  • Useful for applications that require periodic transfer of small amounts of data.
  • Data transfer rate : < 100 kbps.
  • Very low power consumption, ensured by a set of technical and radio techniques.
  • Technology based on the Generic Attribute Profile.
  • Supports a large number of slaves.
  • Less connection time, no pairing process. Bluetooth LE just needs to connect to the device to read/write information.


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