We are probably just weeks away from the launch of the Android P Developer Preview, if rumors are to be believed. And true enough, we’ve seen a lot of new features and details about the new Android version come to light. The open-source nature of Android of course allows for people to see code commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and that’s exactly where our leak comes from today.
Imagine being able to use your Android device as a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse. It’s not such a far off idea – you would love the capability of being able to pair your Android device with a computer, laptop, or similar system, and be able to type or control the interface from your handheld device. This idea has been submitted as a patch to Android as early as 2014 and committed in 2016, but the functionality has been disabled for all the Android versions in that timeline. It looks like it will finally be enabled in Android P.
Bluetooth devices can be supported via a number of “profiles” and the one that supports input devices such as mice and keyboards is the Human Interface Device (HID) Bluetooth profile. This profile is not supported by Android by default. But with native support now available, devices running Android P can now be used as input devices over Bluetooth, for times when you need a keyboard or mouse handy.
Imagine being able to type on another device through the virtual keyboard of your smartphone, or use the smartphone for controlling presentations. We know that there are apps that somehow appropriate these capabilities, but with native support – you won’t even need an app for that.