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unpairing bluetooth devices is annoying

18 Jan 2015

I don’t use that many bluetooth products. Bluetooth kind of confuses me, to be honest.

Five months ago I bought this:

a red speaker

It’s the AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Mini Bluetooth Speaker - Red. It’s like one of those cool Jawbone speakers but cheaper and probably not as good.

I love it. I use it to listen to podcasts in the shower or while doing dishes. It’s louder than my phone’s speakers and lets me keep my phone away from water. It’s perfect.

The other bluetooth product I use regularly is the Apple Magic Trackpad, which I also love (I love swiping around to do things). Sometimes, though, I find myself wanting to unpair the trackpad with one computer so I can pair it with a different one and this is so unnecessarily hard.

Before I can use the trackpad with the second computer, I need to open the Bluetooth preferences in system preferences, find the device, and tell the computer to forget about this device (so dramatic!) before it will show up as pairable to the other computer. Honestly this isn’t that hard, but it takes a few seconds, and I almost always forget to do it before I’ve already put away or turned off the first computer.

Amazon’s cheap little speakers do it so much better. See that middle button? If you hold it down for a few seconds, it unpairs from whatever, and becomes available to whatever. That’s great! Because what if it was paired to something and you left that something at home? I could be wrong, but with most Bluetooth devices I think you just wouldn’t be able to use it.

Having this extra button feels to me like a correct design, with the responsibilities where they belong.