What Component On A Smart Phone Requires Pairing With Another Device?
Your phone's an incredible bit of kit. If you'd told someone thirty years ago that one day that device you use to make phone calls can also be used to surf the web, play music and movies, experience immersive games, read books on and even use to monitor your sleep, they would have laughed.
Why Pair Your Smartphone with Another Device
But sometimes you need to pair your phone with something else to get the most out of it.
You probably already know this - when you use the internet at home you're probably not using your 4G phone connection to stream data. Most likely you have paired your phone to your home (or office or cafe's) WiFi, in order to avoid using too much of your data plan. Even if you have an unlimited data plan, as I do, you often get a much more reliable and faster internet service at home.
The component requires pairing with another device
Broadly speaking, we're talking about WIFI and BLUETOOTH connectivity. They both work by sending wireless signals to and from your device to either another device or a broadband router.
WiFi has high bandwidth and can support many devices at once, operating over a larger distance (up to 100 metres or more). Bluetooth pairs two or more devices with low bandwidth and in close proximity to one another (usually no more than 10 metres). WiFi is more secure but requires more power. Bluetooth is not as secure but can be used to pair two battery-powered systems.
You can use Bluetooth to send your phone's audio or audiovisual output to a smart TV or to a Bluetooth speaker (or a wired home audio system like Sonos). This allows you to watch videos you've shot on your phone on your television, or play Spotify through your kitchen's sound system. You'll have to make sure the phone is suitably close to the receiving device and adjust settings on both devices to locate and verify (for security purposes). This can be a little fiddly at times.
Is WiFi better than Bluetooth?
WiFi is often more reliable as it broadcasts a stronger signal but it will normally require you to authenticate your device using a password. Your phone will usually be able to remember the passwords for a host of frequent WiFi connections, saving you time and effort.
Two more types of connection are worth a mention. Firstly, if you do not have a WiFi connection and need to use a laptop, for instance, to access the internet, you can tether your laptop to your phone and use its data plan to access the internet. This can be both tricky to achieve and insecure, but could help you out if you're travelling, for instance, and can't access WiFi.
What about phone to phone?
There's an easy way to connect two smart phones together. To do this, you would use either Apple's AIRDROP or Google's NEARBY SHARE for Android phones. These systems offer an expedited way to quickly share photos, videos, contacts or other files between users of the same operating system. You need to have both Bluetooth and WiFi enabled on your smartphone to use these systems. Both users have to adjust certain settings to be able to send or receive files. It's a little complex to set up but if you frequently share files with another, it's a lot quicker than attaching the file to an email or message.
So these are the components you'd use to connect your smart phone to another device, as well as why you'd want to do this. I hope it's been useful.