Windows 8 Phone – Lack of Bluetooth HID (Keyboard) Support


Before purchasing a Windows 8 phone I had not read up on the Bluetooth stack. I assumed that Windows 8 phone would at least have the same functionality as Windows Mobile.

According to Nokia this is what we get:

Currently Windows Phone 8 supports Bluetooth 3.1 and includes compatibility with following profiles:

  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP 1.2)
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP 1.4
  • Hands Free Profile (HFP 1.5)
  • Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP 1.1)
  • Object Push Profile (OPP 1.1)
  • Out of Band (OOB) and Near Field Communications (NFC)

Where is the Human Interface Device (HID) profile?

Windows Mobile had a HID profile – so I kind of expected that Windows 8 Phone would have one (especially given the fact that both platforms shipped with basic office apps). Suffice to say that I am quite disappointed with this omission – touch is not a good enough substitute for a keyboard if you are trying to take some notes in a meeting, for example.

The lack of HID support is perplexing and is not helped by the fact that a Bluetooth keyboard will briefly connect before being disconnected without warning. My initial reaction was to try another keyboard (which would have meant buying a new one). After a little searching online I found that Windows phone did not actually support HID profiles.

Otherwise I am pretty happy with the phone – just mystified by the lack of Bluetooth keyboard support.

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