Most Android smartphones support Bluetooth, allowing you to connect wireless headphones, mice, keyboards, and other accessories or to transfer contacts or files between devices without wires.

But according to xda-developers, it looks like Google may be adding another Bluetooth feature: the ability to use your phone as a mouse or keyboard for an external device.

In other words, you could use your phone as an input device for a laptop, desktop, or tablet, although I’m not really sure why you’d do that. But you could also use it to enter text on a smart TV, control a presentation on a projector, or in other instances where a handheld input device might be more convenient than connecting an actual mouse or keyboard.

There are already some third-party Android apps that let you do this sort of thing, but they generally require a rooted phone.

Xda-developers noticed some Android P code commits for enabling a Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) profile that would bring native support for using an Android phone or tablet as a keyboard or mouse.

It’s unclear if Google plans to bundle an app, setting, or user interface into Android P for using your phone as an input device. But if the Bluetooth HID feature is enabled by default, at the very least it means that those third-party apps won’t need root access to work anymore.

 

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9 replies on “Android P may let you use a phone as a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard”

  1. “I’m not really sure why you’d do that.”
    I work with headless Mac Minis all the time at work. Having a way to give them input through my phone would be incredibly helpful.

    1. But if they’re headless, this is just as useful as pulling out a keyboard and typing blindly. There’s no screen unless you use a remote desktop/VNC type app… and if you do that, you’ve probably already got support for keyboard input from your phone.

  2. Nice! I hope this becomes a thing and that they make it work both ways. That is, I also want to quickly and easily be able to connect my Windows laptop as a bluetooth keyboard to reply to text messages ion the Android phone.

  3. Are you sure about root? I’m pretty sure I tried such an app a long time ago when I was using an HTPC, and I’ve never had a rooted phone.

    This would probably work better for tablets than phones. The problem with phones is you lose focus of the app when a phone call comes in.

    1. Are you sure it was using Bluetooth HID? There are specific apps that let you connect to specific apps, services or devices over the internet. For instance, the Amazon Fire TV Remote app lets you use your phone to input text on a Fire TV. But Bluetooth HID support means your phone becomes something of a universal keyboard or mouse that can interact with anything that supports Bluetooth input devices.

      1. I think it may have only allowed control of your computer mouse–sort of converting your phone into a touchpad. I only used it for a short time because of the loss of focus issue, and I don’t remember the name.

      2. It just occurred to me the connection could have been via wifi rather than bluetooth. Since I don’t remember the name I could have also forgotten the connection type.

  4. Interesting is about time that Bluetooth gets other uses other than the regular ones it has now.

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