I tend to make a lot of phone calls – especially business phone calls — when I’m driving. After all, why not make those drives productive and use them to set up meetings, plan work, and generally check in with my colleagues to make sure we keep moving our projects forward?
Bluetooth has been a big part of how I use my phone in the car. A few years back I decided that it would be safer to use an earpiece for these calls than to take one hand off the wheel to hold my phone. I got a solid, inexpensive Jabra headset and haven’t looked back. It doesn’t have any fancy features, isn’t super stylish, but it does exactly what I need it to do and does it pretty well.
Now that I’ve got a new phone – the iPhone — I plan to keep using an earpiece. Apple offers its own iPhone headset, but it’s $130 (April 2012: this product appears to have been discontinued). Seems a little pricey to me.
I finally started using my Jabra earpiece with my iPhone today, though, and the experience leaves a little to be desired.
First, when I’ve got my Jabra paired to the iPhone and then place a call, the iPhone asks what device I want to use — the Jabra, the iPhone headphones, or the built-in speakerphone. This seems weird to me. If the Jabra is paired, why wouldn’t I use that?
Secondly, there seems to be a little bug in the iPhone’s Bluetooth device discovery tool. Even after finding the Jabra and pairing with it, my iPhone kept looking for other Bluetooth devices and didn’t stop looking. This could drain battery if it continued indefinitely.
I’d wager that Apple’s iPhone Bluetooth Headset offers a fantastic user experience and great call quality. Maybe it even gets around the device asking me what I want to use for calls I make. But I’m not about to spend $130 on an earpiece. Here’s hoping that a future software update makes the Bluetooth implementation on the iPhone a little better.