Google announced that in the coming months Android will include native support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart devices. Devices that come with a dual-mode Bluetooth chip will qualify as Bluetooth Smart Ready, allowing users to connect their phones to ultra power-efficient Bluetooth Smart accessories, like the FitBit Flex or the Pebble watch.
Up until this point, handset makers had to develop their own Bluetooth stacks to make this possible, but now virtually all companies (not just the big players like Samsung, HTC and Motorola) making Android-based smartphones and tablets will be able to benefit from this capability.
Interested developers will be able to use the new Android API to feed data collected from Bluetooth Smart accessories, like fitness monitors or medical devices, to their apps running on Bluetooth Smart Ready products, like smartphones or tablets. Once released, any new Bluetooth enabled phone or tablet running Android and featuring a dual mode Bluetooth radio chip will be Smart Ready.
According to ABI Research, the market for Bluetooth appcessories — which are defined as accessories that come with a companion app — will grow from 220 million units in 2013 to nearly one billion in 2016.