Back in January of 2014 I joined Kwikset at the Consumer Electronics Show to check out their Kevo smart lock, which is a Bluetooth enabled lock that you can open with your smartphone or a key fob that’s included with the lock. I did a post and a video, so I won’t rehash what it does or how it works, but at that time because of how Android implemented Bluetooth on its devices the only devices that were able to fully utilize all of the Kevo application capabilities had an Apple logo. That’s going to change with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop. And I’m VERY excited about that.
I know what you’re thinking … my Android phone has Bluetooth. Why can’t it do the same thing as an iOS device? Ok … maybe you weren’t thinking that. But I’m going to explain it anyway. There are different versions of Bluetooth, and newer version enables greater functionality. It uses less energy (B.L.E., or Bluetooth Low Energy) than older versions, it gives you faster data transfer so it works better for music and video streaming, better communication with NFC chips (for things like wireless pairing and payment), etc. Where Unikey was running into problems with Android and the Kevo smartlock was that Android didn’t enable ALL of the functions of the newest version of Bluetooth. And of course, the missing functionality was needed for the Kevo to work as well on Android as it does for iOS.
The application is in beta, and the first devices that will have Android Lollipop will be the Google Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9, but as manufacturers update their devices (and assuming the devices have the correct version of Bluetooth running on them), the list of devices that the application will be available for will grow. Me being the gadget junkie that I am, I’ll be getting a Nexus 6 as soon as I am eligible to upgrade my device. Don’t judge me; I know I have an addiction. Of course, as I learn more, I’ll share more …