Bluetooth file sharing is a feature that Apple left out of their iOS lineup that jailbreaking helps bring to us on a silver platter. We will be telling you about a very major Bluetooth file sharing application in the near future, however, today we will be showing you and walking you through a new Bluetooth file sharing application called AirBlue Sharing by iOS developer Eric Day. Bluetooth file transfer is an easy way to transfer files between phones or machines from short distances. For some, methods like Dropbox might seem more logical, but many kinds of phones do not support Dropbox - especially the older ones.
AirBlue is a client that digs deep into iOS to give you the Bluetooth experience of a lifetime. It has some strengths and some weaknesses for sure. One of its best strengths is that there is no configuration needed to set it up (unless you count choosing an Activator action to be configuration). Once you have installed it, you are ready to get started. When you go into your Settings application you'll find two new panes: AirBlue and AirBlue sharing. You want to leave AirBlue alone, but you can go into AirBlue Sharing to pick your Activator action. The only other switch in the settings allows you to pick importing files to applications or not. It's off by default. Here is how simple the Settings look:
After I installed AirBlue Sharing, I went into my Photos application to send a photograph that I had taken to my Mac. This was my initial testing for the tweak. You need not enable Bluetooth from Settings - in fact you can keep it off. AirBlue Sharing can manage Bluetooth by itself. So, after you go into the Photos application and find a photo you want, you can tap on the action button to pull up a menu, and you will see a Bluetooth button that you can tap:
When you tap the Bluetooth button, a prompt window will appear that lets you pick the Bluetooth enabled device near you that you want to send the file to. If your device is not showing up, you can pull to refresh the list, however you may want to check to make sure that you have Bluetooth enabled on the device you are trying to send the file to. The prompt looks like the screenshot below:
After you pick the device that you want to transfer to, you may get a message on your iDevice that resembles the image below:
If you are using a Mac and you get this message, it means that you do not have Bluetooth sharing enabled. You can fix this very easily by going to >System Preferences>Sharing and from the list, putting a check mark in the Bluetooth sharing check box. After you do that, try the Bluetooth sharing from the iDevice again and this time you should get a popup on your Mac that resembles the screenshot below - you will need to click the Accept button to complete the file transfer and the file should end up in your downloads folder when finished:
After you send a file, you will get a heads-up-display image that warns you of the completion. After that, you can toggle your Activator action to shut down AirBlue sharing. This has been just a small demonstration, but there is much more.
Not only can AirBlue Sharing share with your Mac, but you can use any Bluetooth device that supports Bluetooth sharing. Speeds will be as fast as 1.7 megabytes per second. If you are using an iPhone and want to send a file to another iPhone, the second iPhone can be running AirBlue sharing, or even another client known as Celeste Bluetooth File Sharing. Both clients are compatible with each other in many respects. One thing you cannot do is transfer a file to a non-jailbroken iPhone through Bluetooth, or without some kind of Bluetooth aiding software.
With AirBlue Sharing, your Bluetooth devices are paired and do not need to be registered with one another every time you want to send a file. After you pair the devices once, you can continue to send files without ever setting up the connection again, which I find to be very convenient. If you are worried that AirBlue Sharing will drain your battery life, then you don't need to worry. It automatically shuts off Bluetooth after the file sharing session has been finished for a short amount of time. You will have to re-enable it once again by using your set Activator action.
If you are in range of Wi-Fi and you think that Bluetooth will be too slow in sharing a rather large file (such as a video that you recorded), you can use Wi-Fi to transfer the file from one device to the other assuming that both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. This feature only supports iDevice to iDevice because it's a part of AirBlue sharing that another device does not have installed on it. If there is no Wi-Fi signal available, AirBlue Sharing can create a Wi-Fi hotspot for you to send the file over - this is also iDevice to iDevice only. Both of these methods are great for speeding up large files, but they will use more battery than Bluetooth will. Not only is speed taken into consideration for you by the developer, but he gives you the ability to go between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth whenever it may be better for your battery life, which we feel certainly makes AirBlue Sharing stand out.
AirBlue Sharing can send countless kinds of files around. You are not limited to photos (as shown in the demonstration above). It is capable of allowing you to send all kinds of media files such as: contacts that you've added to your iOS Address Book, music that you want to spread to all of your computers without syncing through iTunes, notes that you've recorded for yourself in your Notes application, photographs and video footage that you want to share between devices from your Photos application, and moreover - voice memos that you've recorded to remind yourself of things. Unfortunately, when you are receiving files on your AirBlue Sharing device, you are limited only to contacts and photographs. The good news is that you can send and receive more than one file at once which gives you a whole lot of multitasking flexibility and you will get sound notifications that tell you when transfers finish.
- Mac OS X
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Windows Phone
- Much more
The software requirements for AirBlue are iOS 4.2 or higher, including iOS 5. Setting you back $4.99, you have to decide for yourself if Bluetooth sharing is something that you will use. There are numerous alternatives for file sharing out there including Dropbox, Cloud, and MMS. What I like about AirBlue Sharing is its light impact on system performance, which doesn't feel like anything is slowed down. It's well built in that I can't find any bugs that keep it from working correctly. The user interface is easy to learn and very informative, but I have seen better in terms of appearance. I think that the price is right for what you are getting.
If you're not an iOS power-user that likes to send files to people or yourself all the time, then I cannot recommend this tweak to you. You have to be one of those people that need to get files on different devices all the time to appreciate it. Being that I transfer screenshots from my iDevices to my Mac all the time, this application fits perfectly into needs of my own. If you like photography on your iDevice, then this application might come in handy for you if you want to get photographs on your computer quicker when there is no Wi-Fi available and you don't have your USB sync cable handy.
Name: AirBlue Sharing
Developer: Eric Day
Editor's Rating: / 4.5/5
Sources: Eric Day