I have a bit of bluetooth dongle information to report. I have two dongles paired to my 2010 17" MacBook Pro. The first one is
GMYLE Bluetooth Adapter Dongle Ultra-Mini USB Broadcom BCM20702 Class 2 Bluetooth V4.0 Dual Mode
This one is on special at $8 with free shipping. It is small and sticks out 1cm. I leave it in my laptop and just put it in the bag with this end up. So I never forget it and never leave it at home. It has some issues with pairing but they can be worked around. The current theory for why pairing is at times an issue is that the Mac only supports a single Bluetooth controller. I guess that is why it is called a bluetooth and not a blueteeth device. The first one it finds is the one that it uses; leaving the other one unusable. The Bluetooth Explorer does not see this controller as a separate device so you cannot select it. Furthermore, you can not disable bluetooth without inhibiting the dongle at the same time.
Here is the pairing instructions, which are also on the Wiki page that should go live when the TextBlade ships. [Trolls please let this go.]
- Open the Bluetooth Control Panel
- Make sure no devices are currently paired with your Mac and that bluetooth is on. If there are devices connected, turn them off.
- I like to toggle the bluetooth on and then off at this point to make sure the built-in bluetooth is not active.
- Plug in the GMYLE dongle
- Select an empty jump slot on the TextBlade, or if you want to reuse another slot make sure this computer, phone or tablet that this was paired has bluetooth disabled. You should see what I call landing lights, showing that the dongle is ready to be paired.
- The TextBlade should show up in the Devices pane of the Bluetooth Control Panel.
- Selecting this device should cause a pairing window to appear on the Mac.
- Type the code on the TextBlade. The TextBlade defaults to numbers so you do not have to hold down the space bar to enable the Green Layer.
- You are done. You can now turn on other bluetooth devices and pair them thru the dongle. I am not sure how many devices this dongle supports, but it does at least two.
So here is the catch: If I was to sleep my computer and my TextBlade, when I wake them up, I must make sure the first bluetooth device the Mac sees is the TextBlade. If I have a TrackPad on when I wake the Mac, the Mac will pair using the older bluetooth hardware and the TextBlade will not work. So I am careful about turning off all my bluetooth devices and always powering up the TextBlade first. The other interesting thing is that if the TrackPad pairs with the dongle and I take my TextBlade on a trip to the local coffee shop to use with my phone. When I get back and switch to the Mac Jump slot, it will work fine, because the TrackPad is paired with the dongle.
My language is a bit flawed above, because the TextBlade actually is pairing with the Mac thru the dongle. The dongle does not remember the pairing device ID, the Mac does.
I hope this helps. I will write up the other dongle tomorrow that is paired in a manner that it looks like a USB keyboard and works with almost any computer without going thru the pairing process. This one pairs the TextBlade with the dongle and the Bluetooth stack runs on the dongle. I plugged this into an ancient PC running Windows XP and it worked great.