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Feature Request: Bluetooth instead of Wifi Connection

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Instead of forcing an iPhone to be connected to the same wifi network to have Alfred Remote functionality, it would be nice if it could instead connect by bluetooth pairing.  Has this feature been requested before?

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Instead of forcing an iPhone to be connected to the same wifi network to have Alfred Remote functionality, it would be nice if it could instead connect by bluetooth pairing.  Has this feature been requested before?

 

This has been requested before. I've been researching and I'll be considering other methods of connection for Alfred Remote in the future including the possibility of using Apple's handoff technology once it matures.

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Seconded. Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth LE is an incredible leap forward for this sort of thing. Apple is using it as the backend for Continuity and a number of other things but they've opened up the Core Bluetooth framework for us to use:

 

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/NetworkingInternetWeb/Conceptual/CoreBluetooth_concepts/AboutCoreBluetooth/Introduction.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40013257

 

There's an app called 'MIDI LE' for example on the App Store that lets me plug a USB MIDI keyboard into my phone and use MIDI-over-Bluetooth-4.0 on Logic Pro on my Mac (without any sort of having to be on the same wifi network of course). It also isn't using old-style Bluetooth personal area networking; it's an entirely new very low-latency non-TCP/IP-based thing.

 

As a further example Apple is using Bluetooth LE to scan for nearby paired iPhones and iPads which are then commanded to turn on a higher-bandwidth WiFi link and that's how tethering has been working in Yosemite/iOS 8.

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Actually, LE isn't even necessary. I found this article on Logic Remote which acts as a sort of companion iPad app for Logic Pro, and was able to use the steps in it to control Alfred on my Mac from my iPad with WiFi off:

 

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202765

 

This apparently sets up a Bluetooth personal area network where both devices get self-assigned IPs in the same subnet and mDNS works as usual for service discovery. I'm using Yosemite and iOS 8 so I don't know how far back this works but as of the current OS releases it seems to work 'out of the box' already.

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Wow.  Katherine what a great discovery.  I can confirm that after pairing as described in that article, Alfred Remote works perfectly over Bluetooth with wifi turned off on both the iPad and Mac.  So apparently this feature already exists -- we just didn't know about it!

 

(And -- on an unrelated note -- it also works perfectly for Keynote on iPad's remote functionality for Keynote on the Mac.  The need to use shared and/or ad hoc wifi was one of the big problems of the old Keynote Remote -- apparently Apple added Bluetooth connections to the new one without telling us....I never would have bothered to try before I saw this post).

 

Thank you so much for figuring this out!

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Actually, LE isn't even necessary. I found this article on Logic Remote which acts as a sort of companion iPad app for Logic Pro, and was able to use the steps in it to control Alfred on my Mac from my iPad with WiFi off:

 

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202765

 

This apparently sets up a Bluetooth personal area network where both devices get self-assigned IPs in the same subnet and mDNS works as usual for service discovery. I'm using Yosemite and iOS 8 so I don't know how far back this works but as of the current OS releases it seems to work 'out of the box' already.

 

Thank you so much for this Katherine, this is fantastic! Vero is now preparing a blog post and support article for this today!

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Is there a way to force Alfred to use bluetooth without having to disable wifi? 

 

Just as a matter of interest, this doesn't appear to work for an iPhone. I don't have my iPad with me to test at the moment.

Edited by icewraithuk

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Hello all – new Powerpack user here.

 

What about direct connection via USB? Believe it or not, for whatever reason. I am super sensitive to both WiFi and bluetooth radiation (Bluetooth not nearly as bad though...and regular cell is so bad for me I can't even hold my phone while browsing the web on it – sucks so much).

 

Anyway, that is why I am interested in a wired connection. Once I realized how sensitive I was I scrapped all my wireless keyboards / mouses / other gear and have since gone completely wired in - yay for de-evolution!

 

Is this possible?

 

– woz_one

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Hello all – new Powerpack user here.

 

What about direct connection via USB? Believe it or not, for whatever reason. I am super sensitive to both WiFi and bluetooth radiation (Bluetooth not nearly as bad though...and regular cell is so bad for me I can't even hold my phone while browsing the web on it – sucks so much).

 

Anyway, that is why I am interested in a wired connection. Once I realized how sensitive I was I scrapped all my wireless keyboards / mouses / other gear and have since gone completely wired in - yay for de-evolution!

 

Is this possible?

 

– woz_one

 

Hmm, I'm not quite sure how possible this is... Have you tried connecting your iOS device using the same connection instructions above? If you can, then Bonjour may work over USB. I haven't tested this though.

 

[by same instructions, I mean if you can setup your iOS device to Mac network via USB as if you are using your iOS device as a modem]

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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