Chrome OS 81 to improve pairing experience for your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse

Lately, it seems like the Chrome OS team is making good headway on some really old bugs and features requests. Earlier this week a bug filed in 2018 for Linux user name customization was squashed and now there’s a feature request from the same year that looks ready for Chrome OS 81.

This one is for the “Bluetooth OOBE” or out of box experience so that pairing either a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse to a Chromebook is similar to how it works on other computing platforms.

Technically, the Bluetooth HID profile stands for “Human Interface Device” and can also apply to joysticks and game controllers, or any other input device with buttons or sensors. However, there’s no mention of any other Bluetooth devices other than a wireless mouse or keyboard.

Currently, adding a Bluetooth device via Chrome OS settings is pretty barebones. With the updated experience, targeted for the Chrome OS 81 release, it will appear more traditional:

Overall, this is more of a cosmetic feature, rather than a big functional upgrade, but it’s good to see.

The more Chromebooks look and behave like traditional and yet modern devices — without the legacy baggage, of course — the easier it is for people to make the transition to Chrome OS.

On a related note, I’m not a big user of wireless peripherals with my Chromebooks and Pixel Slate. I do know that for a long time, people were having various Bluetooth issues with their devices though.

I’m curious: Are folks still experiencing those issues with Bluetooth on Chrome OS devices?

13 thoughts on “Chrome OS 81 to improve pairing experience for your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse

  • January 30, 2020 at 1:26 pm
    Permalink

    If the Chromebook has been asleep, a Bluetooth mouse takes a couple of seconds to re-establish its connection. That’s a bit annoying as compared to a dongled or wired mouse; But that’s probably no different for non-Chromebooks. Other than that I haven’t really experienced any issues recently. When you happen to have more than one Bluetooth mouse turned on though, it’s hard to tell which one to select from the list on the Chromebook. All of the listed choices may all look the same.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2020 at 5:05 pm
    Permalink

    Yes, I’m unable to pair my pixel 3a with my Chromebook. This makes it impossible for me to unlock my Chromebook via my unlocked phone

    Reply
    • January 30, 2020 at 7:24 pm
      Permalink

      That’s more likely to be a smart lock problem, than pairing. Smart lock for unlock (and messages/tethering) has had a very troubled introduction with it regularly failing out needing to be set up again. Seems to be getting more stable now with the Connected Devices UI, but I’ve said that before and been disappointed! Still seems to need to be set up again with each CrOS update. And smart lock unlocking in particular sometimes needs a reboot to get it going again.

      But one important note is – you do NOT need to blue tooth pair your phone for smart lock to work. They are different things. If you have no other reason to “pair” your phone, then start by unpairing it. Reboot. Then go to Connected Devices and set up from there instead. Don’t repair it.

      Reply
      • January 31, 2020 at 1:20 pm
        Permalink

        “you do NOT need to blue tooth pair your phone for smart lock to work”
        But it still works over BT right?

        Reply
        • January 31, 2020 at 2:29 pm
          Permalink

          It uses the BT radio, you just don’t need to pair your phone for it first. Just go to Connected Devices and set up from there

          Reply
      • January 31, 2020 at 4:10 pm
        Permalink

        It started after I upgraded from a Nexus 6P to a new Pixel 3a. I had it paired for a short while, then the new Pixel got damaged (and replaced) after that, the 2nd Pixel would not pair nor would it hook up via smart lock.

        Curiously, the old nexus and (now) old Pixel still showed up in devices under Account:Security. The old devices could not be deleted, and they eventually went away after 30 days.

        The smart lock feature appears to be working now; even though the phone still can not pair with the Chromebook (HP x360-14 nami). When I had the Nexus, the smart lock did not actually work until I was able to pair the phone via bluetooth.

        The newest Pixel now seems to work with smart lock, but it still won’t pair via bluetooth. Oh well, no big deal, I guess, as the only reason I need BT between the pixel and the chromebook is for the smart lock.

        Reply
        • May 13, 2020 at 7:15 am
          Permalink

          Bluetooth headphones continue to disconnect randomly, go out of sync with streaming video & sometimes freeze Bluetooth completely requiring a reboot.
          It’s been like this since new about 5 years ago.

          Reply
    • January 30, 2020 at 7:54 pm
      Permalink

      I just ran into a Bluetooth issue with my Pixel Slate today. I paired a Microsoft surface mouse, and it works fine until the Slate goes to sleep. Upon waking it up, the pointer moves around just fine but the ability to scroll is lost. Only way to fix is to remove remove and repair. Not sure if this update will actually address that though.

      Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 5:54 am
      Permalink

      I have a wireless.mouse with a dongle and Bluetooth support. When connected via the usb dongle if I’ve not used the mouse for say, 5 mins and then use it, it takes a second to wake up and then works for 2 seconds then stops. I have to turn the mouse off and on.

      When connected via Bluetooth the mouse scrolling wheel is sporadic, most of the time.it scrolls normally but then the odd scroll ends up scrolling a few pages down so I have to scroll up a bit.

      This mouse works perfectly with windows. The mouse in question is the Rapoo M500.

      Thanks

      Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 5:09 am
    Permalink

    I have logitech bluetopth mouse and pixel slate I 5. Have absolutely no issue. The only thing I wish they fix is if there is a Bluetooth mouse or any mouse for that matter paired or attached, slate won’t go to tablet mode. That means no auto rotate, no on screen keyboard and so on. But that is so with every 2 in 1 chromebook

    Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 5:35 am
    Permalink

    I use an AirTurn PedPro and have several pairing problems:
    1. I can only pair from a reboot.
    2. I cannot turn on the PedPro during reboot as it is confused as a keyboard an the virtual keyboard shuts down.
    3. Once paired, my Acer R13 in tablet mode thinks it is a keyboard and switches to landscape. There are flags that can ‘fix’ this but not intuitive.

    Not a PedPro but G7 Power bug — I want to be able to share files when not connected by wifi and cannot pair with the phone or use it for unlock.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 1:17 pm
    Permalink

    “Are folks still experiencing those issues with Bluetooth on Chrome OS devices?”

    Yes. I have a 10 year old Apple trackpad connected to my Asus Chromebox 3 and the CBox frequently drops pairing. It’s a real pain to get them paired again and sometimes takes many attempts and reboots. The trackpad works perfectly with a Mac. I also have a Logitech K380 keyboard and it works perfectly every time with the Chromebox and Mac.

    If Smart Lock works over BT then that’s an issue as well. My C434 will some days allow me to unlock it with the phone, other days it won’t. The Chromebox however used to have issues with frequently not recognising the phone for unlocking but as of an update a few weeks ago it is now much more reliable.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 7:58 pm
    Permalink

    I cannot pair my bluetooth hearing aids with my chromebook. They pair nicely with my Kindle.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.