In another round of quiet improvement to its flagship devices, Apple has equipped iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 4 with Bluetooth version 4.2. The move, which strangely enough, hasn’t seen much publicity by the company, ensures that these devices — which until now sported the relatively outdated Bluetooth 4.0 — now run on the latest version, also dubbed as Internet of Things-ready Bluetooth.
The change seems to have taken somewhere around September — near the iPhone 6 and 6S launch event perhaps — and the company’s product comparison page has been modified to reflect it, where you can now find Bluetooth 4.2 proudly displayed under the specifications section.
The move is in-line with Apple’s policy of keeping its smartphones packed with the latest technology — in return of them burning holes through our pockets — and will allow users a host of benefits, including faster over-the-air firmware updates and data transfer at speeds almost 2.5 times anything the version 4.0 offered.
However, the older iPhones — that is iPhone 5s and below — don’t seem to have received the benefits of the update and it is uncertain if Apple plans to introduce 4.0 to them in the future. Yes, that possibility is there, since even the older hardware can support at least some features of the 4.2 via a firmware update. However, there has been no word from the company until now.
Bluetooth 4.2, which was adopted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in December, has a ton of benefits to offer to users. Apart from the speed enhancements we have already mentioned, the technology also finalizes the groundwork for IPv6 that was one of the major features of version 4.1 and will enable devices to directly access the internet over IPv6 and 6LoWPAN.
With the update, Apple is also seeking to assuage the security and privacy concerns of its users. Now, Bluetooth beacons attempting to connect to and/or track your device will be unable to do so unless you grant them your permission.
That being said, the improvement — which may have been delivered to devices via a firmware update by Apple — does not necessarily mean all of the above benefits. Quite a lot also depends upon the hardware used, which can vary even across the same model number.
Well, we are trying to dig in deeper and will be sure to let you know as soon as anything else — including an official acknowledgement of the change — surfaces. Stay Tuned!