• Sat 2020.03.14

    Well, one would think that locating a suitable tablet that supports BLE would be an easy thing this day and age. It appears this latest generation of sales reps, don't have the total comprehension of what specifications are or why they are needed. (Thank you Not! Blue Pill educators - ref lack of teaching critical thinking skills) Web page specification detail for BLE compatible devices is lacking also.

    Attempting to take an Espruino device into a store has been a bit problematic as not all tablet models are avialble on display, and I get strange rep looks when they are confronted with 'actually' having to perform the pairing task.

    As the T-Shirt says: "Is there any intelligent life down here?!!"



    Now while it can be confirmed that the minimum tablet Android OS may be determined:

    'Android 4.3 (API level 18) introduces built-in platform support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)'
    http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Bluetooth­-Smart-Devices-List.aspx

    Finding a specification for compatible hardware that will support BLE listed on a web page is a daunting task.

    Here is where things are a bit murky.

    I have a (circa 2016) HP Notebook that claims to be compatible with Bluetooth devices, but will not connect with BLE devices. Frustrating when I attempted to connect my first Espruino Puck. Had to pick up an external BLE >4V01 dongle as this reference reports.

    Beneath heading: "I can't see my device in the IDE in Windows"

    'On Windows 10, . . . . If you can't pair then your PC may not support Bluetooth LE (even if it supports normal Bluetooth) and you may need an exernal Bluetooth dongle.'
    https://www.espruino.com/Troubleshooting­+BLE



    Now, I want to do the same on an Android device, with hopefully first time purchase results. So, am attmepting to locate a suitable 10" tablet for around $150 USD that may be used to flash Espruino.


    some links with a bit of info:
    https://android.stackexchange.com/questi­ons/26105/determining-support-for-blueto­oth-low-energy

    note that the internal link 'partial list of devices that support BLE' is broken 403
    https://www.blooky.com/blooky-blog/compu­ter-tablet-phone-bluetooth-4-0-low-energ­y-ble/

    learn differences BTLE/BLE vs BT
    https://learn.adafruit.com/alltheiot-tra­nsports/bluetooth-btle

  • Sat 2020.03.14

    one minute later . . .

    I owe @allObjects an apology. In a previous post, I chastised him for what appeared to be a forum edit blunder with a double entry.

    posts #8 #9 #10    http://forum.espruino.com/comments/15122­371/



    Well guess what? Yup, egg on my face, as it just happened to me!!

    While making my initial post, I pressed the 'Save changes' button to submit the text, and on review when page update occurred, there were two identical posts!!

    My sincere apologies Markus, as I bow to the forum Gods and eat crow . . . .

    Identical content as in post #1 deleted as redundant . . .

  • Sat 2020.03.14

    Made a bit of progress.

    "This technology comes integrated with the Bluetooth 4.0 version."

    "NOTE: The Samsung devices which are compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy technology are Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500) , Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9300) and Samsung Galaxy Note II (GT-N7100)."

    https://www.samsung.com/in/support/mobil­e-devices/what-is-bluetooth-low-energy-b­le-technology/



    Samsung Galaxy S4 - $749 USD - A bit pricey for what I need

    Bluetooth Version 5.0
    OS - Android 8.0 Oreo

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-gal­axy-tab-s4-10-5-64gb-wi-fi-4g-lte-verizo­n-black/6284714.p?skuId=6284714

  • Sun 2020.03.15

    I have a Bluetooth aware tablet, (circa late 2016) an Amazon Fire HD. Although it is possible to side load the Android .apk files, the device itself is not BLE compliant. Big blow when I purchased my first Puck (circa 2017) and couldn't flash it.

    So, even though the screen real estate on a Smart Phones is much too small in my opinion for easy reading, it might be okay (at the right price) for flashing firmware.

    But I have a major concern with Smart Phones.



    The Smart Phone route. (I don't own, nor do I anticipate owning one, monthly cost wise - cost vs benefit) Correct me should my understanding not be correct, a SIM card and an activation card, monthly or by annual plan is required, but that is used to connect via GSM to say a 4G or 5G network for audio voice calls. WiFi would allow connection to a hotspot or home Internet router, and Bluetooth/BLE enables connectivity of say a BLE mic/headset and our treasured Espruino family of official supported boards.

    Under that premise, if a method to side load the .apk and .zip files is found, say via USB cable, then flashing Espruino could be done on a smart phone that doesn't have GSM or the SIM card activated. So, could a used phone work then?

  • Sorry to hear about the Fire HD. Did you actually try installing nRF connect on it? I'd be amazed if it didn't work.

    a SIM card and an activation card, monthly or by annual plan is required

    Not at all - you can just connect a phone via WiFi and it'll be fine. You just won't be able to make calls unless you use Skype/etc.

  • Mon 2020.03.16

    @Gordon, yes, did sideload nRFConnect a year ago, but that app never saw any BLE devices to pair to.

    Now I understand why. It appears I may have aquired the last of an end of life batch as it was majorly discounted. I think I paid around ~$120 when retail was just under ~$275 circa 2016. The HDX just came out at around ~$400, but I couldn't justify the nearly three times price increase for 'just reading.' Remembering back, I would discover Espruino a year later.

    I may also have a hybrid, as mine has 8Gig Ram and there is a note there that indicates Fire 7 was upgraded from 1Gig in 2015

    And somethong else I didn't realize, "It is possible to convert a Kindle Fire to a tablet running standard Android, with some loss of Amazon-related functionality, and lacking features such as Bluetooth, microphone, camera, and memory expansion"

    But my fear to do that is too risky, for the reasons of hardware manufactuing timeframe. Unable to locate what version of Bluetooth is within the device.



    We know:

    From minimum Android version, link in post #1, we need Android 4.3 (API level 18)

    "The second-generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customized Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Fir­e_tablet

    There was an upgrade to a version 3 circa 2013 original release date, but no indication of Android version

    Thanks for the idea, I'll reconfirm and try again, but the conversion from Amazon labeling of incremental customized software revisions and being able to cross link to an actual Android version is time consuming.

  • @Robin, a decent - actually great - alternative for a tablet is a chrome book: You get a real keyboard and for a good price. Some chrome books are also working as tablets w/ touch screen and back-foldable key board.

  • Tue 2020.03.17

    Nice insight @allObjects, thanks.

    On initial canvasing, specifications indicate 'support for Bluetooth 4' and run ChromeOS.

    Samsung Chromebook 4 11" $179
    HP 14" AMD-A4 $249

    Experience has shown me that we need a device manufactured after Sept 2018, which implies at least Android 8 Oreo, and hardware support for BLE which today means BT 5. My HP Notebook which was supposed to support all BT devices including BLE still required a Bluetooth 4V1 external dongle. (that my be a Windows10 limitation though)

    Are we able to confirm that a Chromebook running ChromeOS, suporting Bluetooth 4V0 has in fact flashed an Espruino device?

  • Not sure, if the date and Bluetooth version is meant for ChromeBooks or Androids as you mention Android 8. But for example, I have a Huawei P10, can flash firmware with nRF Connect, and according to GSMArena
    Released: 2017, March
    Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP, LE, aptX

    I got it late 2017, don't remember the exact month.

  • My old Moto G3 phone (July 2015) still works flawlessly, so I think as long as you get something that's not some hobbled version Android you should be fine now.

  • Wed 2020.03.18

    answering post #9 response

    'Not sure, if the date and Bluetooth version is meant for . . . '

    I hadn't realized how detailed this would get, trying to sort things out, but I'm starting to
    realize that it is necessary to put the 'BS' filter on after reading comments from other forums. Everyone seems to want to be the source of what they think/know is correct, then fail to document correctly or correct their (discovered in the future) error.

    I'll agree @AkosLukacs that keeping this all straight can be taxing on the ol' noggin.

    To verify, I went back to the nice post #1 table cross reference that Bluetooth.com published, but that link now 403 error's out. Rats!! Really nice as it had a date chronological listing for both BT and Android versions and release dates. Now searching for a substitute.

    Found this from a user Aug 2016 'it mentions that it supports both BTv4.1 and BLE. It therefore distinguishes the two BT specifications'

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3476­1921/is-bluetooth-4-0-ble

    As I see it, the confusion ( 4 ) results as we have Bluetooth 4.0 arriving around the same time Android 4.3 started supporting BLE

    Since your Huawei P10 falls into a zone just after that timeframe, lets see if we are able to build some chronolgical relationships here:

    Bluetooth low energy support introduced

    Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (API 18)
    4.3 July 24, 2013

    Android 7.0 Nougat (API 24)
    7.0 August 22, 2016

    Android 8.0 Oreo (API 26)
    8.0 August 21, 2017

    Android 9 Pie (API 28)
    9 August 6, 2018

    Android 10 Quince Tart (API 29)
    10 September 3, 2019

    Full chronological table at:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_ve­rsion_history



    The web buzz as I preceive it is that the Android releases introduced the support for BLE around mid 2013. It took time for hardware vendors to envision, prototype, build, introduce to the market their super-duper hardware flavor.
    (as the post #1 link 403's going from memory here - until future verification)
    Bluetooth release version was around 4.0 and introduction of BLE was on the horizon. Confusion sets in until around a March of 2017 timeframe when world-wide adoption finally agrees and products start hitting the market around September 2017. Android version is around 8 and Bluetooth minimum for BLE is 4.2

    Your Huawei P10 purchased fall 2017 and having BT 4.2 and Android 7 falls into this category.

    From the post #9 link
    OS Android 7.0 (Nougat), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie)

    Therefore it is a safe bet that the hardware produced after Sept 2017 will support BLE, despite only referencing 'Bluetooth support' or just BT. But that may only be for Android (Smart Phones) devices as I'm starting to realize that, the same may not hold true for PC's/Laptops as my HP fits into that time slot, but even stated as Bluetooth 4 compliant, doesn't recognize BLE devices. (could it be lack of suitable drivers, Windows10, rather than hardware?)

  • Tue 2020.03.24

    While Bluetooth.com continues minor site access limitations, I finally found a link to a page of deprecated specifications. (as the post #1 link 403's)

    https://www.bluetooth.com/specifications­/errata/

    BT 4.0
    Publication date: 30 June 2010

    version: 4.2
    Publication date: Dec 02 2014

    p.17
    Mentioned in BT 4.0
    'There are two forms of Bluetooth wireless technology systems: Basic Rate (BR) and Low Energy (LE)'

    p.85 4V2
    'To claim support to the “Low Energy” Core Configuration, an implementation must support a set of Required Features, according to the details in Table 4.6 and Table 4.7'



    Using Gordon's statement post #10 that his July 2015 Moto 3 worked, it is interesting to note

    https://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_moto_g­_(3rd_gen)-7247.php
      using AkosLukacs link from post #9


    that BT and BLE are mentioned separately, so the Moto Gen3 purchased July 2015 had Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, LE and OS Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop), upgradable to 6.0 (Marshmallow)

    It appears that around four years elapse from the announcement of the BT spec, and around two years for the Android spec announcement that allows for the hardware to finally get into the hands of the consumer. Devices pre 2017 seem to specify both BT and BLE as a separate listing and Motorola was an early adopter here. Devices such as the Huawei P10 purchased fall 2017 and list the minimum core spec BT 4.2 and Android 7, to be able to make the 'Low Energy' claim.    see p.85 above 4V2

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Tablet 10" or large screen Android Smart Phone with ability to flash nRF52 Espruino firmware via BLE - Your device recommendations needed

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