Windows Phone 8.1 goes through certification for Bluetooth 4.0

Windows Phone 8.1 is still far off from being made available to the general public, but Microsoft has managed to get the operating system through Bluetooth SIG certification. What this means for consumers is they'll have ability to take full advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 in the next major update. The listing was filed on January 31st and is a sign of what's to come in Windows Phone 8.1. 

While 8.1 for Microsoft smartphones is expected to be rolled out later this year, with Build 2014 listed as a possible date and location for an official announcement, Bluetooth 4.0 LE is available for current Windows Phones and we're already seeing companies like Fitbit hire new talent to develop apps and services for the platform.

With regards to Windows Phone 8.1, we're likely to see more information be leaked in the coming months, so remain tuned to our feeds. Check out the full listing over on the Bluetooth website.

Source: Bluetooth; thanks, Pete, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Finally read this from wpcentral
  • Was waiting for this news here.
  • Lol.. Yeah. Read this in the morning itself.
  • Still no HID support.... ps. Sorry for comment jacking
  • If you look at things from Microsoft's perspective, anything you would want HID for would be done with Windows RT. Obviously when WP and RT merge we will get it. Outside of stylus support, what about HID are you wanting? Keyboard support? Again, that's Windows RT territory. Even though Microsoft and Nokia would have people believe all they are selling is the 1020 and 1520, the reality is all they are selling is the 52x and 92x. There is already capability fragmentation with Microsoft going back on their mandate that all WP8 devices must have camera flash and NFC. This is not the time to add to that.
  • A phone with built in MS Office...but no Bluetooth keyboard support. Ridiculous omission in my opinion.
    I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to add the feature.
  • I concur. My Think Outside full size foldable BT keyboard was a godsend many times while traveling. Really miss it's functionality nowadays.
  • Personally I have no need. It's about choice for the people that do want to hook up a Bluetooth controller or a keyboard. WP is supposed to be for working and playing. Office on ios and android is no useful simply BC I can grab a keyboard and start typing. I've never had to use my phone for such work but if there's a desire for it why not?
  • Yes, Bluetooth HID Keyboard support.   You don't need it or want it?  Bully on  you.  But there are millions of us business-app users who like the idea of being able to keep your Windows Phone in your shirt pocket and an IGo Stowaway full-sized folding keyboard in your coat pocket and go to town on a plane or at a cafe or wherever and efficiently create a document on the go or take impromptu notes at a meeting.  I don't want to always have to carry an oversized tablet or phablet or whatever.   It's not freaking rocket science to add an HID BT interface.  My Nokia Symbian phone had it 6 freaking years ago.  The devlopers of an OS that offers Office as a selling point without providing the means to utilize it in an efficient manner and to its potential are tone deaf at best, and deliberately thwarting customer experience and demand, at worst.  I think it's somewhere between the two.  If you're going to provide Office with no interface to utilize it efficiently and to its potential, then Office is no more than a toy (aww--how cute--the phone has Office)--  It's like providing a Lamborghini with no tires and a Model-T engine, saying, "Here you go--have at it."  If you're going to provide access to a powerful business app, either provide the means to use it efficiently and powerfully, or don't provide it at all. 
  • Will this be a problem for a older specs like my lumia 920 that runs on 1.5 dual core? Will it make my phone a bit laggy?
  • What has BT 4.0 to do with your phones specs? The phone has a 4.0 BT chip build-in but the OS doesn't make use of it yet. But why would Bluetooth make your phone any slower or laggy? Doesn't make sense :P
  • Actually, Lumia Amber (GDR2) brought 920 Bluetooth 4.0 support.
  • Haha that's true. So now I understand the post of him even less xD
  • Actually, according to Nokia, Amber only brought BT 4.0 support to the 520, 620, 625, and 720 devices. The Black update will bring it to the rest of the Lumia lineup.
  • It is unlikely to negatively affect the performance of your hardware. In fact if you have a BT 4.0 compatible accessory, it will use less power.
  • That's what you get by going elsewhere to keep up with WP news. Just kidding, our guys are always on the spot with new news.
  • I wonder if 520/521 will get 8.1(sure hope so!)
  • ALL Windows Phone 8 devices will get 8.1 :)
  • Save for the Lumia 810, the black swan of windows phone 8
  • LOL so true, so true. Thanks to TMo.
  • We need to stop saying that. It simply isn't true as long as carriers control the update role out. Says the man with the 925 with no GDR3/Black on T-Mobile!!!!!!
  • Sign up for the Preview/Developer account if you want those OS updates early.
  • There's no doubt 520/521 will have it. It's a universal WP OS update, I only wonder if there'll be variations in features in the update for 512mb ram devices and between those having 1 gb or more...
  • This is already in wp8 with black.hope they improve BT in wp by supporting sending videos and other.
  • Amber brought it to the 520, 620, 625, and 720, Black brings it to the rest of the Lumia lineup, 8.1 will bring it to all the other non-Nokia devices... Nokia is not the only WP OEM.
  • Sure seems that way in a support stand point.
  • Yeah, I know, easy to seem that way when Lumia's make up something like 90% or so of all WP8 devices. 
  • 8.1 won't bring it to existing devices by other manufacturers. Nokia used 4.0 capable chips from the get go, which HTC and Samsung did not. What it will do on devices with the right Bluetooth chips is open the functionality up to 3rd Party developers. Currently only a select few are able to use it on Nokia devices with the necessary updates.
  • What I meant is it will bring BT 4.0 support, of course if the phone doesn't have a 4.0 capable chip it won't be able to take advantage, but that support will be present for other OEM phones in WP8.1, for all their current devices with a 4.0 capable chip (if any) and all future phones.
  • Developer preview early release would be awesome (possibly March)
  • Im all over it :)
  • New devices? What are the rumors about those?
  • Its taking to long to come out!! We should be using Windows 11 already.
  • "The amount of people that confuse "to" and "too" is two damn high!!" -Source Yeah they are actually taking too long. Hope they're adding at least 50% of the features other OS(s) already have...
  • lol on the quote
  • Nice quote... My thing is when people state " I could care less for (insert thing they couldn't care less about here)". Drives me potty.
  • When will 8.1 actually be released?
  • Revealed in April with possible new devices.. So, you can probably literally get your hands on it in May or June...
    As far as current devices being updated.. June at the earliest, but just count on waiting all summer for your specific device... This is a huge update, so a lot of carrier testing has to be done..
    So, new 8.1 devices in 2nd quarter, and updates should arrive in the third quarter..
  • Don't forget that there's potentially going to be a developer preview in April. So if you sign up to the dev preview (which is free through app studio), then you could get 8.1 in April. But you're right about the release to the general public.
  • +520
  • You have no idea what you're talking about, and your confidence about your ignorance is laughable. The answer is, "no one knows yet, there's just a bunch of rumours, wait for Mobile World Congress and //build/"
  • I'm still skeptical of a preview being released in April. It will probably get delayed. And I feel for those who aren't in the dev preview program. They'll have to wait forever, months and months after release.
  • Yeah official release will be in june or July with nokias next firmware update
  • It's almost here.. I can smell it!!
  • How good does it smell? Is it worth the taste?
  • It smells like grilled steak lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.. Cooked medium well, with a side salad, potato, and chimichurri sauce. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • You made my mouth wet...
  • I'm still waiting for gdr3 on tmo 925. I'll probably never get 8.1. This is starting to seem the same as all the outdated droids... Stupid bleeding carriers!
  • Usd dev preview :P
  • Funny how MS tries to not acknowledge that WP8.1 even exist... Lol❕
  • How? They just don't want to fuck up by saying something out loud or making people mad because of slow speed of MS. MS fucked up big time with Xbox one @2013, they did lots of marketing mistakes. Aswell they made people mad because of new windows, because it's different and people can't take new things easilly. It's better to keep your mouth filled with sand and stay quiet(this isn't dedicated for you, it's for MS), WP8 really lacks of features and has user experience ruining bugs, i like this OS but it seriouslly needs to be improved, if i had more money i would probably switch to iPhone, because currently my phone makes me more upset rather than happy
  • @Jaskys - I have had an iPhone 5 for about 13 months. I CANNOT wait to rid myself of this, IMO, children's phone. My iPhone is FANTASTIC for Candy Crush, but not so much for adult things like connecting to MS Exchange, Office, and boring things like that. The lack of a People hub is galling - I got very used to using it as my One Address Book To Rule Them All, and I could quickly see what is new with my friends and family. The app experience on my iPhone blows away what I saw in late 2012/early 2013 on my Lumia 920 (I returned it), but would accept it (and because I read the apps are improving in quality and quantitiy). What I am waiting for is upgrades to the 92x line, then I will reconsider WP, or suffer with my iToy.
  • Well you see, for each his own I bought low end WP8, which suffers from no memory at all, so passwords and apps crashes pretty often. I don't have any free memory at all and most of it is taken by  "other" storage which was supposedly fixed at GDR2 and GDR3. I love WP8 but those bugs, just makes me want to throw my phone straigt into a wall without any regrets. And im not going to upgrade my phone soon, so i can only hope that WP8.1 will fix issues which are making me crazy and no other phone did that to me
  • These are things that occured after I left WP. However, you are comparing a low end WP device to an iPhone, which is NOT low end. A better comparison would be a more capable WP device. Anyway, best of luck with your choice and phone woes.
  • I don't compare anything, this problem is OS wide. So i can get any phone and ill still have to deal with this problem However on my friends Lumia 520 such problem didn't occur, there's lots of free memory and other storage is like 200mb or so
  • Other storage is fixed but you need to back up your data, do a hard reset and update again. 
  • You are awarded today's troll of the day....or if you are not thn u need to tell us what you are taking these using low end $50 phone and expect it to deliver/match with $700 phone....very nice keep we all take u seriously.
  • I expect it to work, i don't expect it to match 700 dollars phone, troll
  • This^^
  • Microsoft historically announces everything months (and sometimes YEARS) ahead if release. It has nothing to do with saving face. It has already been discussed in the tech media (not tech rumours) that the reason Microsoft has been quiet is because they are going through leadership change after Balmer left as CEO. That's the only reason.
  • I know why they do it, dude,, I'm just saying that it's funny... I hate to tell people stuff like this online but here it goes.. Look down ⬇her.
  • Really immature
  • Have you had enough?
  • Its part of their "shut up and ship" slogan.
  • Can somebody tell me what I can do with that bluetooth. I dont see any difference.
  • According to Mike Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), the key new feature of Bluetooth 4.0 is its low-energy technology. This lets device manufacturers replace proprietary sensor technology with Bluetooth, which is a more widely adopted standard. An obvious example is in the health and fitness category. Most pedometers, heart rate straps, and blood glucose monitors are designed to only talk to a specific wristwatch or control unit. If these same devices had Bluetooth 4.0, they could speak to any Bluetooth 4.0 device, be it phone or computer, without requiring an intermediary. "It's an extremely optimized version of Bluetooth," Foley said. "It enables an entirely new class of product into the Bluetooth world."   Other potential uses of Bluetooth 4.0 include standardizing active 3D glasses so you don't need line-of-sight for them to work, and possibly a wireless payment system similar to NFC.
  • It's so that WP devices can use other device like the Nike fuel band... That's why we don't have a lot of apps like this now... This is BT low energy.... Those kind of apps should be coming now the Lumia Black has rolled out... It's also used for any modern BT device that supports 4.0LE....
    Increased battery life.....
  • Just install preview for developers app and wait until the build14:)
  • Wowowowowow
  • Release later this year is too late; unless you want to compete against the new iPhone. Release it by April/June.
  • "Later this year" means any date between 3th February 2014 and 31st December 2014, so what's your pint".
  • The point is that Microsoft cannot afford to have to wait until Samsung releases Galaxy S5 and Apple releases iPhone 6. Theyve already been playing "catch up" since 2007. They're increasingly becoming irrelevant.
  • It may be a good idea to wait until everyone else shows their hand. Then they can work on beating it.
  • Why do MicroKia focus more on worthless Bluetooth Update!? Is the 920 a Bluetooth phone and not a camera phone? Please fix the camera issue of 920! Allow us to disable jpeg processing and that will the most innovative update of 8.1
  • Seriously? First of all if there's camera issues that is Nokia not Microsoft, not Microkia as the merge has not been finalized yet. So its not necessary to rant about Nokia firmware with camera issue to Microsoft getting software ready for 8.1. Completely unrelated
  • Yes it is related. I wish they will turn off the built-in jpeg processing of the camera in the next update.
  • That is tied to the image processing hardware in the Qualcom chips. There's no extra circuitry in any Windows Phone for image processing except on the 1020. So, that ain't EVER coming.
  • Thank you.
  • I thought all Lumias got this with black.
  • There are other WP phones as well...Samsung, HTC ???
  • Giggity!
  • Ridiculous how long this is taking, first it was beginning 2014, now the articles say 'later this year'. Way too slow Microsoft!! Sigh!!!
  • They said 'later this year' which technically could still mean in a few months from now, not the end of the year...  They just said that to be safe since there's no confirmed date yet.  But so far, it's scheduled for April.  Which is a much faster update cycle than other OS's so calm your jets.
  • Not faster cause the last mayor update was mango for windows phone 7, windows phone 8 was an update to allow a few things just like they did for the 1520 not a mayor update. Since mango android has gotten from gingerbread to kit-Kat 4.4 and ios has passed 6 and 7. Something. So yeah I think he can call Microsoft update process extremely slow.
  • What about GDR 1, 2, 3? Also version numbers mean nothing, in fact more frequent version numbers allow the OSes to break compatibility more often than less frequent version number increments.
  • I beg to differ. I remember Mango released along with ICS in Android. Not Gingerbread. After ICS, Android released JB and Kitkat now. And we both know they are not big updates. iPhone updated from OS version 6 to 7. That's it. Windows phone moved from 7 to 8, if you consider bigger changes. And as far as minor updates, Microsoft released both 7.x releases after Mango as well as three updates with 8 devices. If MS is slow, so does Google and Apple.
  • Never said google and apple but remember WP is behind in so many small details its been a huge step back from windows mobile days and since the Samsung focus days we haven't seen a major update since mango, so yes I think we all have the right to call Microsoft slow. Android only needs optimization and with kit-Kat they achieved something ,apple needed a little facelift ios7 did something too ( still ugly), apple and google don't need much in there OS they have almost all tiny details and we still don't have a notification center and have been asking for it since wp7.
  • Totally agree. They simply should push out small updates with each addressing many of the tiny things. It's bullshit that we have to wait so long for 1 big update (possibly not being that big at all).
  • I love my 1520 and my 920 but this is very annoying even blackberry 10 has more features then WP.
  • All I want is new 8.1 ready devices from Sammy, HTC and others at MWC
  • +1
  • No word on what Bluetooth 4.0 actually does? What kind of journalism is this?
  • What you are asking for is a substantiation of what a phone is for every review!
    Bluetooth 4.0 has been the norm for over an year now.. Its not something that came up yesterday..
    Just fyi, Bluetooth 4.0 is essentially ability to connect devices at higher speeds whilst using less than half the energy as compared to Bluetooth 3.0.
  • Just wish that ms produces a smartwatch
  • They did make a smart watch many years ago. No one bought them and it required a service plan. Shame though. It was a nice idea but too expensive.
  • Hmm then they should work on the price tag when producing another one or they can request pebble to make one for us ,with a good price tag (affordable ones )
  • Quick question ! Will Windows Phone 8.1 aka Windows blue update , roll out for existing Windows 8 phones , which have 512 Mb Ram ? For example Nokia Lumia 520 , And Lumia 720 ? Please anybody....Tell me !
  • Yes !
  • Windows Phone 8.1 DOES NOT aka Blue.
  • *is* not AKA ;)
  • looks like we are almost there... this and recent preview for Developers app update...
  • I got a feeling.
  • Need more notification in wp8.1
  • The new Era by Jawbone is BT 4.0 LE (BT Smart).
  • Get..
  • Seems we'll get 8.1 in Dev Preview earlier than we (many of us) get Black.
  • My question is about the new bluetooth profiles supported in 8.1. Are there any new ones/have they upgraded the profiles supported?
  • How about stuff like hdmi output and usb on the go
  • exactly 2 months till unveiling yaaaay :D
  • Why doesn't someone add if they have API support or not or if multiple devices can be used for different platforms?
  • I hope this new bluetooth le fixes my bluetooth problems on my 920 because gdr3 didn't. I think it made it worse.
  • I need file manager & notification centre that's all
  • I want file manager in next update for l720....
  • This is interesting as it seems like the first official 'acknowledgement' of there being such a thing as Windows Phone 8.1.
  •   I'm finding it almost mind boggling that after all these posts no one talks about the most glaring limitation of OS when it comes to bluetooth. Issue? What's exactly the point of bluetooth if I can't have app that runs in the background that updates my blutooth device automatically? I mean app will work fine as long as it's in FOREGROUND. But go ahead and just touch that windows button  or back button and you're SOL. For this to be usefull we need a real (or at very least LESS LIMITING multitasking).  
  • Yes we can't even send multiple songs
  • I'm really confused. Is BT4.0 an update, or is it actual hardware to be installed in the newest phones?