How Android P plans to turn your phone into a bluetooth keyboard or mouse

Android P will include support for the Bluetooth HID, which will also allow a mobile device to control smart home accessories.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Android P will include support for Bluetooth HID, allowing certain devices to be used as a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, as well as a revamped Material Design interface.
  • More details on Android P's features will be released at Google I/O 2018 in May.

With the first developer preview now available, Google is releasing more information about the new features included in Android P.

According to xda-developers, Android P will include support for the Bluetooth HID (Human Interface Design) profile service, which would allow users to turn their phones into a mobile Bluetooth keyboard or mouse.

Android P will join the likes of both Samsung and Huawei, which have enabled similar capabilities in their most recent devices, including the Galaxy S9.

The feature will allow you to use your phone as a trackpad, a joystick or a method of controlling other smart devices in your home via Bluetooth, the xda-developers report noted.

SEE: Job description: Android developer (Tech Pro Research)

Google is also equipping Android P with other features to match their competitors. For example, the OS will be able to accomodate atypical display types, including phones with a notch in the display.

The move is seemingly in response to Apple's iPhone X, which has a "notch" feature specifically designed for different display types. Both Samsung and LG are reportedly developing foldable smartphone designs as well.

Xda reports that once Android P's new Bluetooth HID is enabled, developers will be able to add the capability to their apps. This could be helpful for business travelers who need a mouse or keyboard to accomplish certain tasks, but don't want to carry separate peripherals.

Developers can get more information next week on the Android P developer preview here, with more information slated to be released at the Google I/O 2018 conference in May.

Also see

Image: Conner Forrest/TechRepublic

About Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox