Bluetooth is great for connecting hardware, except when it’s not, as 9to5Google blogger Hayato Huseman learned the hard way with his desktop:
I just turned off Bluetooth on my iMac without thinking about the fact that my keyboard and mouse use it and now I can't turn it back on. 🙃
— Hayato, but spooky (@hayatohuseman) October 8, 2017
That’s right – if your gadgets connect to your computer via Bluetooth and you turn the feature off, you won’t be able to use your computer until you figure out a way to enable it again. In Huseman’s case, he picked up a cheap wired keyboard and managed to turn Bluetooth back on.
Before you call the obvious police on us, consider that it’s possible to do this entirely by accident, or that some computers might turn off Bluetooth when you engage Airplane Mode.
I can’t say with certainty just how likely it is that this will happen to you, or if you’ll be affected the exact same way depending on your hardware (laptop users don’t have to worry at all), but it’s a lesson in building intelligent devices. As vlogger Michael Fisher responded:
This … this is not your fault. The system should totally stop you with a dialog box or something if it detects you're BT-only on inputs.
— Michael Fisher (@theMrMobile) October 9, 2017
I’m with Fisher on this one. It’s 2017; complex devices like computers should be able to discern what’s happening with the hardware and software that it’s directly connected to. It seems like something that’s easily fixed though – the hard part for developers is to put themselves in users’ shoes often enough to tackle such issues before they happen.
Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.