It looks like Apple has added Bluetooth 4.2 support to its iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2, according to updated technical specifications for all three iOS devices.
The news, which surfaced in a report from 9to5mac, was unannounced by Apple, and instead came in the form of the iPhone and iPad comparison pages (which seem to have been silently updated). Now, all three iOS devices — the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2 — are indeed listed as a supporting Bluetooth 4.2. Of course, the newer iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and iPad mini 4 are listed as supporting the newer version of the protocol, too.
But what does Bluetooth 4.2 bring? Well, speed enhancements to Bluetooth Smart are key among the changes, with Bluetooth 4.2 offering 2.5 times faster speed alongside a packet capacity increase. This works out as 10 times larger capacity compared with previous Bluetooth versions.
In its report, 9to5mac explains:
Although it’s unclear whether a firmware update or changed hardware inside more recently manufactured iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 devices is responsible for the new Bluetooth 4.2 support, upgraded firmware might be the answer. In the past, Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 devices could not be upgraded to newer versions of the standard, but Bluetooth 4.0 devices were able to upgrade to Bluetooth 4.1 using product-specific software patches.
The article adds that according to certain reports, "Bluetooth 4.2’s speed and data capacity improvements would require new hardware, making Apple’s implementation somewhat curious."
As always, we’ll let you know if there are further changes to the story.