Windows Really Needs A Bluetooth Interface Overhaul

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If you have two seperate Windows devices, and you use an Xbox Controller on both, it seems like the Xbox controller remembers the last device it was connected to and will not automatically connect to the secondary device even if the previous device it was connected to is not found. Aggrevating, but no problem, I’ll just go to the bluetooth control panel and press Connect on my Xbox Controller.

It’s not there. You literally have to uninstall the Xbox controller, then press the bluetooth button on your Xbox controller, connect, and reinstall the device.

But at least we have Notepad and Calculator updates (cheap shot for sure, but it felt good).

On a side note, Also it should be possible to do the things you can do in the Bluetooth control panel straight from your bluetooth icon in your bottom bar without having to bring up a whole other screen.

Comments (10)

10 responses to “Windows Really Needs A Bluetooth Interface Overhaul”

  1. wright_is

    This has more to do with the Bluetooth controller and software in the Xbox controller, rather than Windows. My headphones, mouse, radio etc. all allow multiple pairings and "just work" with Windows. I just have to "connect" then in the control panel, when they don't automatically find my PC - usually because they are also connected with another BT host in range.

    • Thom77

      In reply to wright_is:


      All I'm asking for is when you go to the control panel and you see your Xbox Controller listed, to have the option to connect manually. As it is now, either you Xbox controller connects automatically or you are screwed and have to uninstall (remove) the Xbox controller and re-pair and thus, reinstall the controller.


      The Xbox Controller is just trying to connect to the last connected device, which is ideal. Perhaps it could get better by allowing it to store the last 2 known devices, and have it try to pair to the second when the first is not found. But I can't understand how a "connect" option is not present in the control panel under the Xbox Controller section.

      • wunderbar

        In reply to Thom77:

        You said it right in your reply. Because the xbox controller can only remember one device, it can't work.


        This isn't exactly how it works, but I'm going for a simple explanation here: When a bluetooth device connects, there's a connection string used for the devices to pair up, I'll call it a password for ease of explaining. so the computer and the controller connect, and decide on a password, say, abc123. So, in the future when you turn on the controller, it blasts "abc123" to the world, the PC's bluetooth receives "abc123" and goes "hey I know you" and the devices connect.


        Some devices can store multiple bluetooth connections. My headphones, for example, can remember up to 5 devices, so it can store 5 of those "passwords"


        the xbox controller can only remember one password. so if it's connected to my pc at abc123, and then I pair it with my xbox and it learns xyz456, it forgets the abc123 password, and can not connect back to the computer. the computer can look for abc123 all it wants, but because the xbox controller has forgotten the password, it can't connect without re-pairing.


        So again, not really a windows problem, comes back to a poor wireless implementation on the Xbox controller.

  2. jimchamplin

    Bluetooth really needs an overhaul.


    FTFY

  3. Daekar

    I've noticed that cheap bluetooth chipsets tend to work poorly with Windows. When I purchase a nice product with a higher price, I never have trouble.

  4. wunderbar

    This is an Xbox controller problem, not a Windows problem. Some Bluetooth devices do not support being paired to multiple devices, the xbox controller is among them. If you want to connect an xbox controller to 2 different xboxes, or two different mobile devices, you have to re-pair every time.


    Windows bluetooth handles this fine. I have a mouse that can pair to multiple devices and the 2 pc's I have that I use the mouse on have no problem with this.

  5. jwpear

    I'd say bluetooth needs the overhaul in general. It is confusing as to why it sometimes connects automatically and sometimes it does not. My wife gets frustrated every time she goes to use some bluetooth earbuds with her Surface Laptop. Settings shows as having paired with them, but they don't connect automatically. She taps connected and they won't connect. She complains to me. We remove them from settings and re-pair. They then work.


    It's a little better on the Mac. I have a pair of Airpods. They don't automatically connect to the Mac, but I can at least tap connect in the bluetooth dropdown and they will connect without having to re-pair.


    I suspect much of this is related to using the earbuds with multiple devices.

    • wunderbar

      In reply to jwpear:

      Apple uses a proprietary chipset on airpods in addition to bluetooth that handles the connection properties. It's basically a tiny on board system that tells bluetooth what Apple device connect to at any time. that's why the airpod situation is more seamless with apple hardware.


      If you're using airpods with Android devices, or any other non apple device, the experience is the same as any other bluetooth device.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to wunderbar:

        Precisely the point.


        Bluetooth is almost 20 years old. Why is it still so damn bad? Apple has to create a new chip that fixes the awfulness of it. Why can’t the Bluetooth powers-that-be just make it less terrible?


        It feels like a half-baked stopgap that became a standard because reasons. Nobody has any impetus to make something better because BT exists, and the BT steering committee is away from the wheel counting their money.

  6. illuminated

    This is the reason why I had only one bluetooth mouse. Bought once, threw it out and never bought another bluetooth mouse ever again.

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