Easily manage Bluetooth devices inside Control Center [Pro tip]

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Manage Bluetooth devices in Control Center
Managing wireless devices can be easy with Control Center.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Control Center Pro Tips WeekWe want to help you master Control Center, one of the most powerful and underutilized features on Apple devices. Cult of Mac’s Control Center Pro Tips series will show you how to make the most of this useful toolbox on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

Quickly connect to Bluetooth devices by using Control Center on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You won’t need to fiddle around inside Settings or System Preferences — just a couple of taps is all it takes to start pairing.

We’ll show you how.

Apple helps Chipolo One Spot item tracker become a top AirTags rival

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Chipolo One Spot launches June 2021. Price is unknown.
The Chipolo One Spot boasts an advantage over every other Bluetooth item tracker.
Photo: Chipolo

The upcoming Chipolo One Spot could rise to be a top Bluetooth item tracker. And if that happens, it’ll be with Apple’s help. The product will be one of the very first accessible through Apple’s Find My network, which means iPhone, Mac and iPad users can locate it without having to install any software from Chipolo.

The same is true of AirTags, Apple’s own much-rumored item tracker expected to be released soon.

Stylish smart sunglasses offer built-in Bluetooth speakers [Review]

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Flows Bandwidth Bluetooth audio sunglasses review
Flows Bandwidth Bluetooth audio sunglasses pair well with an iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Flows Bandwidth’s Bluetooth audio sunglasses let you listen to podcasts or take calls without blocking out the world around you. Despite speakers built into the stems, the men’s or women’s versions look like any other sunglasses. But they keep you entertained on the go.

I’ve worn these smart glasses for weeks. Here’s why I like them.

macOS Big Sur 11.2 brings Mac Bluetooth fix

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macOS 11.2, the latest version of Big Sur, includes a range of bug fixes.
Apple called special attention to a Bluetooth bug fix in its release notes for macOS 11.2.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple released macOS Big Sur 11.2 to the public Monday, bringing more reliable Bluetooth connections. That should warm the hearts of those using recently released Macs built around Apple’s first-generation M-series processor.

The Mac update brings other bug fixes as well, but the release notes make no mention of new features.

iOS 14.4 brings improvements to QR codes and Bluetooth audio

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iOS 14.4 debuted to the general public on Tuesday.
iOS 14.4 isn’t a substantial update, but it does include new features.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple released iOS 14.4 to the general public on Tuesday, along with the iPad equivalent. According to their developer, these allow users to scan smaller QR codes, and to classify their various Bluetooth devices so audio notifications can be routed correctly.

It also closes a security hole that hackers might have actually used to break into iPhones.

Connect AirPods to almost anything with AirFly Pro [Review]

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Twelve South AirFly Pro with AirPods Pro
Twelve South AirFly Pro is the perfect companion for AirPods Pro.
Photo: Twelve South

AirFly Pro can wirelessly connect your AirPods to a plane’s entertainment system. Or the machines at your gym. If it has a 3.5 mm audio jack, this Bluetooth adapter lets it communicate with your AirPods. Even two pairs at once.

And the same easily pocketable gizmo can connect your iPhone to a car stereo’s AUX port to play music off your iPhone.

I tested both these features — find out how well they work in this AirFly Pro review.

Some M1 Mac mini owners suffer Bluetooth connectivity problems

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New M1 Mac mini gaming
This doesn't sound good.
Photo: Apple

Life hasn’t been as sweet as it should be for some M1 Mac mini owners. A number of users are being plagued by Bluetooth connectivity issues, which can cause wireless peripherals to frequently disconnect.

The number of complaints is growing online, and it seems the only real fix is to use a third-party Bluetooth adapter.

How to fix Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interference on a Mac

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Fix Wi-Fi interference on a Mac
Don't settle for a slow and unstable connection.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If your Mac is struggling to maintain a stable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, it could be because of wireless interference. The good thing is that there are many different things you can do to eliminate this problem.

In this guide, we’ll detail how you can identify wireless interference, and some of steps you can take to prevent it from causing problems in the future. The tips also can prove useful for iOS devices.

Access your Mac’s hidden Bluetooth debug menu

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bluetooth keyboard mouse
Troubleshoot your Mac's Bluetooth connections.
Photo: Amy Hirschi/Unsplash

Got Bluetooth problems like a glitchy mouse or an unreliable keyboard? Maybe a screwy trackpad or poor headphone connection? Any of those problems could result from a glitch in your Mac’s Bluetooth radio. Maybe you’ve already tried everything — unpairing your devices, resetting them or even creating a pristine new user account on your Mac solely for troubleshooting purposes.

You may even know about the hidden Bluetooth menu that appears when you option-click on the Bluetooth menu bar icon. But did you know that there’s another, deeper, super-hidden menu with extra troubleshooting tools? There is. Here’s how to fix Bluetooth problems when nothing else seems to work.

Apple and Google team up to build COVID-19 contact tracing apps

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Apple Google
Apple and Google join forces using Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Photo: Apple/Google

In a rare moment of collaboration, Apple and Google said Friday they have teamed up to create a contact-tracing program that uses smartphones to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The privacy-focused solution created by the companies will use anonymous Bluetooth “chirps” from phones as a way to tell where an infected person has been and who they’ve come in contact with.