Bluetooth technology is one of the wonders of the technological age, wirelessly connecting electronic devices so they can exchange data instantly when they're close together.
It's simple to set up and use and it's made file sharing between computers a whole lot easier. It's been an absolute boon for hearing aid users, enabling them to connect hearing aids directly to smart phones and landlines. And of course it's revolutionised your car's communications and entertainment systems. It connects your car to your mobile phone, enabling hands-free phone calls and letting you stream all the music or even podcasts on your phone through your car's audio system.
It's great – when it works. But as anyone who's used Bluetooth will tell you, it's far from foolproof and just a tad temperamental.
So what do you do when all that high-tech goes unexpectedly pear-shaped and you can't pair your phone to your car? Well here are four quick tips to help you solve those Bluetooth blues:
1. Turn it off and on again
Your mobile phone is really a computer in your pocket and as any computer geek will tell you, the first step to solving computer problems is to just re-boot the computer. Or in non geek-speak, you simply turn off your phone, turn it back on again and re-pair it back to your car's audio unit. You'll be surprised how often that fixes things.
2. Update your phone's software
Still got a problem? Then maybe it's time to upgrade your phone's software to the latest available version. Once you've done that try re-pairing it with your car's audio unit. In fact it's very good practice to un-pair your phone from your vehicle and then re-pair it whenever you update your phone's software. That will allow your computers to "speak to each other", share information and keep your Bluetooth experience smooth and hassle-free
3. Update your vehicle's software
Sometimes it's not your phone's software that's causing problems, it's the software in your car's audio equipment. So if the first two fixes haven't worked it's time to contact your vehicle dealer to find out if there's a software upgrade available, and if so, to have it updated.
4. Isolate the problem
If none of that's worked you're now at the frustrated stage, right? But rather than screaming and putting your fist through the touchscreen it's time to isolate the problem. There are really only two possibilities here – either the problem lies with your car's audio unit or your phone. Try pairing another phone with the car's system. If that works then your phone's the culprit. If you're still not having any joy and you know there's nothing wrong with the phone, then your audio unit has the problem. At that stage it's time to get it seen to and to make it someone else's problem.