• Bluetooth Headphones and iPad

    After successfully pairing my new Bluetooth headphones with my iPad, I had issues getting them to reconnect after the headphones were turned off and on again. I would turn Bluetooth back on on the iPad, and hold the headphones near the device, but they would never reconnect. I tried un- and re-pairing the devices, and while the pairing operation worked and would stay connected following the pairing until the headphones were turned off, the headphones still wouldn’t reconnect after turning them off and on again.

    To make sure it wasn’t an issue with the headphones, I tested reconnecting them to my Mac after turning them off and on again. This worked flawlessly in the usual fashion – turn them on, put the devices near each other, and the Mac connects to the headphones automatically.

    In staring at the Bluetooth menu on my iPad, it suddenly occurred to me that the name of my headphones in the list of devices might have been a button. Sure enough, I turned the headphones on again and clicked the name of the device in the list, a spinner showed up, and then they reconnected.

    Checking the iPhone manual, there’s nothing in there that describes this process. I suppose it’s one of those things that should be intuitive, but in this case it was not intuitive for me since I’m used to my Macs greedily reconnecting to any devices they have been connected to before without being asked. I actually prefer this process with the iPad, since I have several devices that I share Bluetooth accessories with, and once the accessory is connected it won’t make itself available to be connected to anything else until it is disconnected. I’ve had issues with this a few times when I’ve turned my work laptop and personal laptop on at the same time in my home office. They’re both paired with my Bluetooth keyboard so whichever one binds to the keyboard first wins, regardless of which one I actually want to use the keyboard with. The only way around this is to turn off Bluetooth on one of the devices until the one I want to use the keyboard with has claimed it, which is kind of a pain.

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