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Bluetooth is getting even better. Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac


Bluetooth is getting a big upgrade that’s going to make marrying your gadgets easier and more reliable. The latest Bluetooth 5 standard is twice as fast, has four times as much range, and requires even less power.

We’ve become increasingly reliant on Bluetooth over the years as gadgets play an ever bigger role in our lives. We once used Bluetooth occasionally to transfer a picture or song from one device to another, but now we use it all day every day to keep various devices — like phones and watches — in sync.

According to the Bluetooth SIG, there are more than 8.2 billion Bluetooth-compatible devices in use. By 2020, it’s thought that a third of all installed Internet of Things devices will have Bluetooth connectivity.

With Bluetooth 5, announced today by the Bluetooth SIG, the technology is even better at meeting those needs. Thanks to four times wider range, it’s better than ever for home automation. It’s also capable of transferring eight times as much data.

Bluetooth 5 is also twice as fast as Bluetooth 4, which means moving content and data between your devices will happen even more quickly. Plus, the updated Bluetooth standard is more efficient, which means it’s better on battery life.

Bluetooth 5 is expected to make its way into new devices in late 2016 or early 2017. It requires new hardware, so it won’t be available on your existing smartphones, tablets and wearables — but there’s a good chance your next upgrade will have it.

[Cult of Mac]